Today from Chuck Swindoll. When we acknowledge Jesus as Messiah we announce that He alone fulfills our deepest longings. He alone satisfies. No one like Christ can lift you from the deepest depression.
There is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still. That's Messiah. From the Swindoll family and all of us here at Inside For Living we are so glad to have you with us. We'll begin today's program with a question. When you hear the word Messiah what comes to mind? Chuck Swindoll admits that for him it's not always the biblical reference that comes to mind but the grand musical masterwork known as Handel's Messiah. The message he started on the previous program in which he's searching the Scriptures to discover the origin of this wonderful name. Chuck titled his message The Meaning of Messiah. The first time Messiah appears in the New Testament the word fell from the lips of Andrew as he told his brother Peter we found him. And the second time it appears it appears from the words of the Samaritan woman as she said to Jesus we know that Messiah is coming and when he comes he will tell the truth to all of us.
In both references and you may want to look back at John 1 along with John 4 in both references there is an additional comment. John 1 41 we have found the Messiah parenthesis which translated means Christ. And John 4 25 I know that Messiah is coming parenthesis he who is called Christ. Messiah is nothing more than a Hebrew word Mashiach from Masha interesting word it meant originally to smear to anoint to spread a liquid.
When they got into the New Testament and the New Testament was developed in the language of the common people common Greek the term Creole which worked its way into the noun Christus Christ took the place of Mashiach. When we say Messiah we're using a Hebrew word that means the same as the word Christ ultimately the promised redeemer bore the title Mashiach and no one else. No one else though he may have been anointed was ever called the Messiah only the true son of God yet to come. Let me be very specific here about the title Messiah was to be the agent of God through whom the destiny of Israel was fulfilled.
Messiah was the agent of God through whom the destiny of Israel was fulfilled. Back in John chapter 1 verses 40 and 41. There is a there is something that is implied by Andrews words. When we look at what the name actually means.
Andrew says to Simon Peter. We have found the Mashiach. What does that imply well it implies that they were looking for him. If you've lost something and you've told the family that you've lost it and you find it you say I found it I located it means you were looking and maybe they with you were looking for it. And that's the way it was with Messiah.
It wasn't a half hearted or haphazard statement. Oh, by the way, we we found out the Messiah is around. It was listen Peter. We've located him. He's here.
He's calm. At Robertson says, Andrew and John had made the greatest discovery of the ages far beyond gold or diamond mines. We have found the Messiah. He's the one.
In other words, we're not looking any further. The question comes now did did Peter really believe him. In the college that he was in fact Messiah Matthew chapter 16 verses 13 to 16 Peter reaches the the zenith of his career as a disciple.
In fact, he never before distinguished himself more greatly in Matthew 16 13. Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi began asking his disciples saying, Who do people say the Son of Man is? Who are they saying I am? What's the end?
What's the scuttlebutt? What names do you hear coming out from people as they talk about me? He asks his disciples and they said some say you're John the baptizer and some say you're Elijah and others even say you're Jeremiah. You're a prophet, one of the prophets. And he looked at them and he said, But you who do you say I am?
That was most important as he looked at his circle of immediate friends. Who do you say I am? Simon Peter said. You are a Mashiach. You're Christos.
You're the Christ. Notice the Christ, the son of the living God. So literally Messiah means the anointed one. The title Christ is not that common in the Synoptics.
Matthew uses it 13 times Mark six times and Luke only twice. In fact there was some confusion even in the minds of people regarding John the baptizer's identity. Some thought he was Messiah and you see that when you turn to Luke chapter 3 verse 15. Luke 3 15 while the people were in a state of expectation and all were wondering in their hearts about John as to whether he might be the Messiah.
I mean after all he came and did phenomenal things and people came out of the woodwork to come into the wilderness and to hear him preach and to be baptized by John. Some must have said this is indeed the Christ. He's a prophet obviously and he is unlike religion that we know today.
He stands alone and a revolution virtually is taking place. He must be the Messiah. I noticed in John 1 20 that John himself denied that. He speaking through John's pen here said 1 20 he confessed and did not deny he confessed I am not the Messiah. It's terribly important to John that no one think of him as the Messiah. I mean the Messiah was the big coming event not John the baptizer.
We who live in California live over all kinds of faults geo geological faults and we are those who every time a little a little trimmer occurs or maybe one that shakes us up a bit. The big question is is this the big one? Is it the big one? I remember early October 1987 and sitting in my study and winding up with big reference volumes on my head and I remember thinking is this the big one and hoping this was it that that's all there'd be to it.
But everything we read you expect some some relief the next day, but the papers read it wasn't the big one. Just keep waiting Christ was the big one not John the baptizer just a little tremor just a little shaking up of the nation. But when the anointed one came people set up and took notice there will not be another like he this is the one this is Messiah. Prophetically Christians have believed for years that there are many Old Testament predictions of the Lord Jesus woven through the fabric. The anointed one is yet to come.
The references are far more numerous than you and I would have ever believed. Allow me Alfred Edersheim quoted by Merrill Unger in his dictionary stated there were upward four hundred and fifty six references references to a to a Messiah. The Messiah the Lord Jesus in the Old Testament. So I pulled off my shelf The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah volume 2 and I found that not only as Edersheim stated that but he actually listed them briefly commented on this on those in the tiniest of print from pages 710 to 741. One reference after another with annotation added to each one of the references is only Edersheim could do. He includes statements from the Apocrypha the Talmud and other rabbinical writings as he with laborious care places before the reader each prophetical reference of Messiah. And then he comes with a disclaimer as only Edersheim could do.
He says despite all labor and care it can scarcely be hoped that the list is quite complete. From Genesis through Malachi reference after reference after reference after reference to Mashiach. He's coming. He's coming. He will be the fulfillment of God's promise concerning the nation concerning his plan for this world program. How about Jesus himself? I mean if he was indeed the fulfillment.
Did he acknowledge it? Look at Luke chapter 4 will you? There's something I don't want you to miss the beauty of fulfilled scripture is that when it happens within the pages of Scripture our faith is enhanced.
Isn't something some dream for the future but in fact it was stated in the Old Testament and we see it fulfilled in the new and I find my faith bolstered. Luke chapter 4 verse 16. Jesus came to Nazareth. Remember Nazareth?
That ring a bell. That's the place where he was raised. He went back to his home town. Where he had been brought up says Luke and what as was his custom he entered the synagogue on the Sabbath and he stood up to read. I love this and the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him literally the scroll. Someone handed this young prophet the scroll the scroll of Isaiah. Jesus took picture it the scroll of Isaiah the same passages we read from the great prophetic book.
He took the scroll and he unrolled it and he found the place where it was written. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he must shocked me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of the sight to the blind to set free those who were downtrodden to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord. People must have been on the edge of their seats in the synagogue. And he closed the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down and the eyes of all the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them don't miss the first word today. Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing. Must have been a great moment. I think you probably could have heard him suck in their breath.
The problem is many of them thought the audacity. This fella son of a carpenter if that claims to be the Christ. Crucified when he had been raised from the dead the end of Luke's gospel chapter 24 turn there finally Luke 24.
He's still making the same statements about himself. Luke 24 24 some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just exactly as the women also had said. But Jesus they did not see these two men are reporting. They don't know it but the man who's joined them on the journey is the resurrected Christ. They don't know it is but him they did not see and he said to them oh foolish men and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken. Was it not necessary for look at the term he uses the Messiah. Christos was it not necessary for Christos to suffer these things and to enter into his glory and beginning with Moses and all the prophets.
He explained to them the things concerning himself in all the scriptures. Great that's the one of the few times Jesus exposits the word and of course these men suddenly realize this is the Christ. When we acknowledge Jesus as Messiah. First of all we acclaim we claim him to be the anointed one.
There will not be another. God made certain through a paper trail that this one and not another would come. When he came he would be the fulfillment of God's promise. We claim him to be the anointed one. When you hear the music of the Messiah it is the music of the Redeemer who has come fulfilling the promises that God gave of his son. Second when we acknowledge Jesus as Messiah we declare our search for any and other so-called Messiah has ended. We've landed upon the one who was promised. We declare our search for any other so-called Messiah has ended.
There is no other. I love the way Peter put it. Jesus has thinned the ranks of those who were following him because they were getting their stomachs filled. And he looked at his own men and he said to them, interesting the way the original reads, you don't also want to leave do you? And Peter answered, Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
Our search is over. You're the Messiah. There's no one else to turn to. You don't need to look for another individual to be a savior. You found him. You found Christ. When we acknowledge Jesus as Messiah, we announce that he alone fulfills our deepest longings. He alone satisfies. No one like Christ can lift you from the deepest depression.
I love the way Corey 10 Boom put it. There is no pit so deep that he is not deeper still. That's Messiah. If I may go back to the middle of the 18th century, to the story surrounding George Frederick Handel and the composition of it, it may help you to appreciate all the more the events that followed and led up to the composition. One failure after another marked Handel's life. By 1737, he was swimming in debt, facing financial ruin. He was actually threatened with debtors prison.
The next year, at the urging of friends, he was persuaded to perform a musical benefit for himself that would enable him to raise enough money to pay off his enormous debts. He took his music to the theater. The crowd would be large and the giving would be great, but the church turned tail and criticized Handel for taking sacred music to the theater. And this was simply another strike against him.
The criticism accelerated by 1739. He was attacked for bringing the words of scripture into such crass places that his handbills were torn down and other concerts were deliberately disrupted by enemies. He lost one friend after another and finally, he felt, had lost his last friend. By 1741, he had used up all of his resources and London considered him a burnout musician. Rumors swirled about him that attacked his character.
He fell into a deep depression. Nothing broke until by the summer of 1741, he was commissioned almost out of the blue to write an oratorio on the theme of the Redeemer. It was to be totally from scripture.
That seemed to change everything. His initial response was that it would no doubt take him a year, perhaps two, to compose such an oratorio. But his motivation began to revive.
Listen to this. On August the 22nd, he sat down in a little house on Brook Street in London after receiving a grant in Dublin to do the work. Six days later, he had completed part one. In nine days, he had written part two.
In another six, part three. He took an additional three days to fill out the orchestration. That was nice of him. And in 24 days, he filled 260 pages of manuscript. A phenomenal physical feat in itself.
He hardly ate and seldom slept. Sir Newman Flower writes, considering the immensity of the work and the short time involved, it will remain perhaps forever the greatest feat in the whole history of musical composition. Having done a little bit of writing in my life and none of music, I can't imagine composing the Messiah in 24 days.
I can't imagine composing the chapter in 24 days. But he wrote the piece. His depression had lifted. The Savior became real and significant to him. He had met the Messiah.
And it lives on in his legacy. I'd like us to bow for a few moments of meditation, quietness, and reflection. Our Father, meet with us in a very special way during this season of the year. Bring to our minds again a fresh and a new. The significance, not of one man's work, immortal though it is, but of your marvelous plan for your people.
Humble us with the fact that you came for us. That the Christ has been anointed to end our search for relief and fulfillment. And it is in his grand name that we dedicate these closing moments of this meeting to you through Christ Jesus.
Amen. You're listening to Insight for Living and the Bible teaching of Chuck Swindoll. He titled his message, The Meaning of Messiah. If you'd like to learn more about this ministry, visit us online at insightworld.org. This program features the third message in a teaching series called His Name is Wonderful.
We can't think of a better subject as we celebrate with our families and move into the Christmas season. In the coming days, Chuck will guide us on a biblical tour that celebrates the names ascribed to God. Each one provides another reason to lift him up in praise and worship. As we begin this study, let me remind you that Insight for Living Ministries has prepared a variety of resources that will help you dig deeper into the Bible. For instance, every sermon Chuck delivers is paired with online study notes. But best of all, Chuck walks you through a chronological process so that you search the scriptures just as he does.
To get started today, go to insightworld.org slash studies. And here's a quick ministry update for you. Just a few weeks ago, Chuck and Cynthia Swindoll had the privilege of hosting an esteemed group of colleagues at the international headquarters of Insight for Living Ministries. Our field pastors from all points on the globe convened for the first time ever, coming from faraway places such as Brazil, Poland, Romania, Russia, Australia, Canada, China, and beyond. Through the financial support of people like you, these wonderful friends are empowered to take Insight for Living to all 195 countries of the world. We refer to this mission as Vision 195. Well, as we set our sights on the end of another ministry year, we invite you to give generously toward this worthy cause. We're deploying your generosity to make disciples of all the nations just as Jesus commanded. To give a contribution today, call us. If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888.
Or you can give online at insight.org slash donate. Cruise ships leave the harbor for Alaska all the time, but there's only one that's hosted by Insight for Living Ministries. You're invited to travel with Chuck Swindoll this summer. Every moment of your vacation is thoughtfully prepared and protected so that you can enjoy the perfect balance of rest, adventure, relaxation, sightseeing, and just plain fun. All in the company of those who share your respect for God's word and God's creation.
Yeah, I'll put it this way. God had a very good day when he created Alaska. I was awestruck by the majestic mountains, the wildlife, the quaint little seaports. All my life, I've wanted to see a glacier.
When I stepped out on the deck of our ship and witnessed the massive wall of ice, wow, it was truly breathtaking. Escape with Insight for Living Ministries to the great frontier, July 1st through July 8th, 2023. Call 1-888-447-0444. That's 1-888-447-0444. Or learn more at insight.org slash events.
The tour to Alaska is paid for and made possible by only those who choose to attend. I'm Bill Meyer, inviting you to join us again tomorrow when Chuck Swindoll continues his series called His Name is Wonderful, right here on Insight for Living. The preceding message, The Meaning of Messiah, was copyrighted in 1987, 1992, 1998, and 2022, and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2022 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
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