In Cruden’s Bible Concordance we read this comment on ‘Messiah’: “Literally, the Anointed One. It means the expected king and deliverer of the Hebrews, Who should free them from the yoke of aliens, and make them a great nation ruling over the whole world. ‘Christ’ is the same word in the Greek.”
Even from earliest times in Bible history we can see the working of this Christly influence or Divine Power, first to the Israel nation, and then through them to all who are able to discern the Truth of God and man, accept it and then follow it faithfully to their highest understanding.
Noah, through this holy influence of God, saw clearly that without the sustaining Power of God, the earth and all on it were destructible, and conversely that which is in harmony with His Will is under His protection and so must endure. This is the basic reason for the longer lives of many men before the flood – they understood better than we of today the sustaining truth found in Deuteronomy 30: 19-20, “. . . I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey His voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto Him: FOR HE IS THY LIFE, AND THE LENGTH OF TRY DAYS:” This is a timeless truth, extending through all ages.
When Jesus of Nazareth launched His holy mission to the Israel people with both Word and works, the proof of His Messiahship was evident to all who were familiar with the ancient prophecies of Israel and with the prophetic promises of God to His people. Isaiah wrote centuries before the event, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”
So we see that all through the Scriptures, from earliest times, individuals caught glimpses of the Christ, the Truth from God that frees mankind from all manner of slavery. There is only one Messiah, that is Christ Jesus. The Truth He taught derives from God Himself, the source of all Truth and the mainspring of all successful human activity. This Divine impetus has always existed and has inspired every genuine forward movement of the human race. This Christly spirit was incarnate and embodied in Jesus, Who was so unfailingly obedient to His Father. He said, as recorded in John 8:29, “I do always those things that please him.”
As we trace the progress of the Children of Israel in the history of their successes and their failures in both Old and New Testaments, we realize how essential to their progress and to their very existence is this close adherence to God and to His Will. It is a stark choice between good and evil now as then. Moses, through his close acquaintance with God and with Israel’s history, its ups and downs, saw clearly the Will of God for His people, and recognized the certain benefit of its application in the life of the nation as national Law. Thus he was able to receive from God on Mount Sinai the Ten Commandments, designed to hedge the people about with a loving, protecting Law, a protection against destructive evil and sin. The addition of Statutes and Judgments based on the Commandments provided guidance in all the minutiae of daily life – truly a wonderful gift of Divine Love to the nation of Israel. It served to keep the people close to their personal and national life-line, the Law of God.
It is fascinating to observe the close correlation of obedience to God and national success throughout the long Israel history of the Old Testament. Then when Jesus Christ came to earth to teach His people in His Father’s Name He continued on in this tradition of obedience to the Law. He told His listeners as recorded in Matthew 5:17, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, and the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” Obedience to God’s Law was the means used by Jesus to free all those who came to Him from all manner of disease, and on several occasions from the last enemy, death itself. Indeed, how could Jesus, Who talked with Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration, believe in the finality of death? ‘
The centurion soldier who came to Jesus beseeching Him to heal his servant understood with marvellous clarity the working of Law. He understood that Jesus operated under the authority and Power of God, just as he himself wielded authority by a chain of command. When we study this account in Matthew 8: 5-13 we can glimpse the requisites for Christian healing. First, we see the humility and unselfish love of the centurion. He could have sent one of his soldiers to Jesus, but his love for his servant was such that he came himself. Jesus offered to go to the servant and heal him, but here the humility and the grasp of the Law is apparent in the reply of the centurion. He said to Jesus, “Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst enter under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” And verse 13 concludes with the inevitable result, “And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way, and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.”
There was no human barrier of arrogance, of fear, of selfishness, to the free flow of God’s Will for man through the Law.
This is an account of stupendous import to us today, because it shows, that as the centurion saw so clearly, it was the Law and Authority of God that healed, that the Word of God was sufficient without the personal presence of Jesus at the bedside. This is a truth that throws a spot light on prayer. It lifts the load of false responsibility from our human shoulders, and gives all power back to God, the One and Only Power. When we can go to God through our Saviour Jesus Christ without arrogance or bombast or fear or selfishness, just as this brave soldier did, with a staunch understanding that God’s Love is sufficient and able to heal, (when His demands have been completely met), the result is certain.
Today our Israel nations are confused and chastened by current events. Nationally they look everywhere but to God and His Christ for solutions. The Bible is full of accounts of Salvation when a nation appeals to God, within its pages is found the solution to every ill that flesh is heir to. Nothing has changed, the Power of God and of His Christ is undiminished. The power of Truth to dispel the confusion and double-mindedness that beset us is as close as your Bible.
We can say to all who are baffled by the confusing world around us, with its false standards, repeating the words of Jesus Himself, as found in Luke 12:31-32, “…seek ye the ‘kingdom of God; …Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
May God open the eyes of His people Israel to their lawful heritage of dominion over evil, as made plain by Him through the Messiah, His Son Jesus Christ!