“We have found the Messiah!” These are the words that Andrew spoke to his brother Simon (Peter), as recorded in John 1:41.
Why was Andrew so excited? Why did he want his brother to find the Messiah as well?
The word “Messiah” means “anointed one.” The word is used in its verbal form in Isaiah 61:1, which says, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners.”
As Jesus began his public ministry, this was the Scripture he turned to and read during a synagogue service in his hometown of Nazareth. Following the reading of this verse from Isaiah, he said to those gathered, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing,” Luke 4:14-21.
Jesus is the anointed one of God, the Messiah (Christ).
He has proclaimed good news to the afflicted. God is talking here of those who are spiritually afflicted; they are convicted of their rebellion against God and his law. These people are truly sorry for their sin; they seek forgiveness and friendship with the living God. Jesus has good news for them. He is God who became man, being born of the virgin Mary in Bethlehem, to bear man’s sin on the cross. He fully and finally paid the penalty of God’s righteous law by his sacrificial death on the cross. He was buried, and on the third day he rose from the dead declaring that forgiveness and friendship with God is a gift from God to be received by faith. This is good news indeed.
Jesus also binds up the brokenhearted. Those believing in him find forgiveness of sin and friendship with God. They also find healing and strengthening of their inner man. Jesus heals their heart by daily reassuring them of his loving, caring and cleansing presence. Jesus strengthens their inner man to courageously and compassionately love God and their neighbor.
Jesus the Messiah also proclaims liberty and freedom to the captives. He declares, “If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed,” John 8:36. Jesus liberates them from the bondage of serving themselves and gives them freedom to serve others as Galatians 5:13 says, “For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”
Andrew wanted his brother Simon Peter to experience forgiveness and friendship with God, healing and strengthening in his heart, and the freedom to serve God and others. He had experienced this grace of the Messiah, and he wanted his brother to experience it as well.
Have you found the Messiah? Today is an opportune day to make sure that you have trusted him as your savior and Lord.
Drew Fenstermacher is pastor at Faith Baptist Church of State College. Contact him at pastor firstname.lastname@example.org.