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Why Was Jesus Called Christ?

Updated on June 20, 2012

How often do we go through life using titles and expressions without actually questioning the meanings?

One such instance where I have found myself doing this has been in the use of the word Christ. Why, I asked myself, can’t one just refer to God’s son by his given name Jesus?

Upon research for an answer I found the reason interesting so have chosen to share it with others who have not thought the referring of Christ through when expressing it.

The Gospel accounts relate that when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary to announce that she would become pregnant, he told her that she should name her son Jesus. This is according to Luke 1:31. This was a fairly common name among the Jews in Bible times. The Jewish historian Josephus wrote of 12 people, other than those mentioned in the scriptures, who bore the name.

Mary’s son was called “the Nazarene” which served to identify him as the Jesus who came from Nazareth. (Mark: 10:47) He also came to be known as “the Christ,” or Jesus Christ. So, what does this mean?

The English word “Christ” comes from the Greek word Khri-stos’, equivalent to the Hebrew word Ma-shi’ach (Messiah). Both words literally mean “Anointed One.”

Jesus being the foretold Messiah, was the preeminent representative of God. Hence, Jesus appropriately received the designation “Christ, the son of the living God.”- Mathew 16:16

Christ is not a mere appellative added to distinguish the Lord Jesus from others of the same name; it is an official title.

By putting the title ahead of the name and saying “Christ Jesus” instead of “Jesus Christ” places greater emphasis on the office or position held by Jesus.

It is noteworthy that it is only God’s beloved Son who is entitled “Christ Jesus.”

In the scriptures, titles are never multiplied before or after Jesus’ name; but if one title precedes the personal name, then any other title is added only after the name. There is never the combination like The Lord Christ Jesus or the King Christ Jesus but there is the combination, Lord Jesus Christ.

I hope I have been able to shed some light as to the significance of the use of the word Christ when referring to God’s son.

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    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR

      LadyLyell 

      5 years ago from George, South Africa

      I'm delighted to hear I could bring a little inspiration to your day.

      There is much to learn from others studies the main reason I follow learned writers as yourself on hubpages.

      Have a nice day!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      5 years ago

      I am so glad I stopped in here to find the reason for Jesus being called The Christ. It is so beautifully said and a great revelation for me. The position means much as he is entitled to it through his sacrifice. Thank you for the education and inspiration today. Blessings!

    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR

      LadyLyell 

      5 years ago from George, South Africa

      Thank you for your kind comments on two of my articles.

      There is much to learn about Jesus life both on earth and in heaven isn't there? It does take time and effort to do all the research but worth while doing when the findings are so interesting.

      I hope it's a nice day for you in your part of the world!

    • Little Grandmommy profile image

      Gail 

      5 years ago from Small Town Tennessee

      You have answered this question well. I've wondered but hadn't taken the time to look for the answer. Thank you!

    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR

      LadyLyell 

      5 years ago from George, South Africa

      Thank you for the comment and vote!

    • profile image

      5 years ago

      Voted up; good hub. Very interesting and important, especially at this Season. Happy Christmas!

    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR

      LadyLyell 

      5 years ago from George, South Africa

      Thank you for taking time to read my article and forwarding such a detailed comment. How we live and learn!

      Have a nice day!

    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR

      LadyLyell 

      5 years ago from George, South Africa

      Interesting isn't it how we use words often without thinking deeply of the meaning. This one had me thinking and when I did find the answer I enjoyed sharing it with fellow readers.

      Regards!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      5 years ago

      I've heard the church use "Christ Jesus" and used to wonder why until I found that it was a title. Magdelene is also said to be a title, although some churches would like you to believe that it was a designation of the area where she came from like "the Nazerene." Oh, for so much we don't know about our ancestors, and so much we don't accept when we are told. Thanks for a nice hub.

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 

      5 years ago from Thailand

      An interesting fact. A question I had never really considered, but was interested to find out the answer once I saw it.

      Shared, up, interesting and pinned.

    • tinamariemiller profile image

      tinamariemiller 

      5 years ago from Peoria, AZ

      Awesome hub! Voting up.

    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR

      LadyLyell 

      6 years ago from George, South Africa

      Thank you for the comment. We can all learn a little more through hub pages can't we?

      Regards!

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      6 years ago from Chicago

      I love this little Hub. It is gracious and wonderful. I had never thought about 'putting the title ahead of the name and saying “Christ Jesus” instead of “Jesus Christ”.' That has fascinating connotations and I am going to take you up on that wise suggestion. Thank you!

      James

    • profile image

      Sarena 

      6 years ago

      very interesting and well explained. thanks

    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR

      LadyLyell 

      6 years ago from George, South Africa

      I trust I have explained this title clearly enough but it can become rather complicated.

      Thanks for reading my article!

    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR

      LadyLyell 

      6 years ago from George, South Africa

      Thanks Audra for the complimentary note.

      Have a nice day

    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR

      LadyLyell 

      6 years ago from George, South Africa

      Audra, how nice to hear from you and pleased you enjoyed my article.

      Best wishes!

    • DonnaCosmato profile image

      Donna Cosmato 

      6 years ago from USA

      Good explanation of his titles and their meanings, LadyLyell. Thanks for clearing that up for folks.

    • profile image

      iamaudraleigh 

      6 years ago

      A very good question answered very well! Great topic for discussion! I am glad you are settled in SA. Nice to see you!

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