Matt. 16:16 Simon 1123558-the_salvatican_throne_by_gleamingscythePeter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.

As our Lord Jesus explained, Peter did not answer Christ’s inquiry with an earthly or intellectual response.  Peter did not say “You are Jesus,” referring to his given name.  Instead, Peter spoke from the spirit of the living God by referring to Jesus by His proper eternal title.  But what does it mean when we say Christ?  Is it a religious title?  By no means!  To say Christ is to acknowledge that God fulfilled his promise to Israel in the person of Jesus.  The Messiah, or Anointed One, is a ruler. This is also the meaning of the title Christ – the Anointed One.  Messiah and Christ are equivalent titles.  Apart from His kingdom, Jesus is just another person.  Take, for example, David.  Before David became King of Israel, people referred to him simply as David, the name given to him at birth.  Once he ascended to the throne, however, he was no longer referred to by his given name, but rather by his proper name: lord, your majesty, king, etc.  This is to show respect for the special place that was given to him by God.  Messiah is the proper title for the One God ordained to rule his people Israel.  A contemporary example of this would be our President of the United States.  Because he was elected to the highest office in our country, the office of President, we don’t refer to the President by his first name.  It simply isn’t proper.  It is proper to refer to the President by the title bestowed upon him – President.  By referring to Jesus as the Christ, we are saying that He was ordained by God to rule His people – that is, anyone who submits to His rule, whether Jew or Gentile – in the kingdom of heaven.  We are also saying that not only do we recognize Him as a ruler, but we submit ourselves to that very rule.  As you read the gospels, you will find a very interesting pattern.  Those who recognized Jesus as the Christ did not refer to Him by His given name.  They referred to Him as Lord or Christ.  Conversely, those who did not recognize Him as Christ called Him by His given name, Jesus, or by an earthly title, such as teacher, rabbi, etc.  How do you see Him?  Do you see Him simply as Jesus, one who died on the cross for you, or do you see Him as the Christ, the King who laid His life down as an example to you that you should follow?