When Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” they replied, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” But Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:13-16).
What set Jesus apart as the Messiah?
- His birth: He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born, as prophesied, in Bethlehem to a virgin. Though angels announced His arrival and He reigns over all creation, Jesus entered our world in a lowly manner so He could be identified with the meek and the poor.
- His wisdom: At age 12, He spent three days with rabbis, asking questions that showed his uncommon understanding.
- His baptism: Though He didn’t need cleansing, Jesus asked John to baptize Him so He could identify with sinners and demonstrate His love to them.
- His temptation: Satan tempted Him relentlessly for 40 days, yet He did not sin.
- His ministry: He challenged man-made religious traditions. And by healing people—regardless of nationality—raising the dead, and forgiving sins, He revealed that God wants to be involved personally in our lives. Leading Pharisees wanted Him dead, but the Father protected His life until the crucifixion.
Many people deny Christ’s deity, calling Him simply a “prophet” or “good teacher.” But Jesus was never merely human. As complex as it is for us to comprehend, He was fully God and fully man. This is the unique way in which our heavenly Father chose to demonstrate His eternal love for us.