Review of Lessons For Sunday 22 January 2017
For Sunday School teachers, Lesson on 1 Samuel 16:1-13 and 2 Samuel 5:1-10
How often have we confessed: “I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord…”?
The whole Bible is about Jesus. Jesus says in John 5:39, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me.“” We read again in John 20:30-31, “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
The New Testament uses the Word Christ no less than 538 times. It’s an important word to know in our life as disciples of Jesus Christ.
Our Sunday School lessons this week show us what a Christ is. Christ is not our Lord’s last name, it is His office, His job, His sacred calling and task before God. The term Christ is the Greek word for “Anointed One.” The ancient people of God in David’s time said “Messiah.” When the people of God translated his word from Hebrew to Greek, where it referred to Messiah, they wrote down Christ so people who only knew Greek could understand what God was talking about, “His Anointed.” It might be helpful to emphasize this today by speaking of “Jesus the Christ” or “our Lord Jesus, the Christ.”
In the days of Jesus and the apostles, there was no Bible except the Old Testament. The Holy Spirit was calling and moving the apostles to write the New Testament. But we only learn what a “Christ” is by looking in the Old Testament to see what God tells us about a Christ, how the Lord Himself defines His Christ. God’s Word alone shows us what a Christ is, and does. Scripture interprets Scripture and fills the word “Christ” with its meaning.
A passage like this one in 1 Samuel 16:1-13 and 2 Samuel 5:1-5 provides great opportunity to learn what a “Christ” is in David, the Anointed One. Anointing meant pouring a liquid, in this case the oil commanded by God, upon a person’s head, combining it with the Lord’s own Word of promise and blessing for that person. God commanded a person be anointed when someone was entrusted with a sacred duty among the Lord’s people, whether as a prophet of God sent to preach His Word, or a priest who led worship in His temple, or as we see here with David, a king to govern and rule over God’s people.
God does the same today when He uses His people, just like He used Samuel here, to call a pastor or teacher and entrust them with the office of serving and leading His people today. That’s why we don’t let just anyone preach on Sunday, but we look for that “called and ordained servant of the Word” whom God gave us to“announce the grace of God unto all of you, and in the stead and by the command of the Lord Jesus Christ” to forgive us all our sins. That’s the one given God’s promise to be a blessing to us.
Choosing and Anointing was God’s idea, it is His heavenly way of doing things on earth. This anointing is not Samuel’s or David’s or any human’s invention. In fact, if it were up to Samuel, or David’s father Jesse, one of the other sons would have been chosen for this. But God chooses for Himself the people whom He wants to serve Him. He led His people to find exactly the right one to be entrusted with this enormous responsibility of being the King. God does His choosing by His own standards, not theirs or ours.
“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Sam. 16)
Anointing showed that this man and no other was given this vocation, along with the necessary gifts and promise of God to fulfill it. God commanded Samuel to take oil and pour it out on that one person, speaking the promise in the Name of the Lord. Samuel was sent to Christen David with the oil, to Christ that man David so he and everyone knew the promise and gift of that office belonged to him. Samuel was to anoint the one God chose and in that way give him the office, blessing and promise–so he would become a blessing for the whole nation, for all God’s people. That the Lord chooses for Himself is central throughout this 1 Samuel 16 passage.
The fact God chose David and promised to bless him in this anointing gave David, the anointed one, courage and hope to stand against Goliath and all of God’s enemies. David was confident not because of his size or skill, but confident by faith because of God’s own promise and gifts alone. Without this anointing, David had no sure sign of God’s favor. God gives David and the rest of His people the sure sign they need that God truly applied His promise, God really chose him for this work of leading and helping His people in this way. David is the Lord’s Anointed, His Chosen and Promise-bearing person.
Samuel used oil to anoint David as the Christ. When Samuel did what God commanded, the Lord acted at once upon this to bestow His Holy Spirit in special measure to fulfill the task given to David.
“And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is he.” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward.” (1 Sam. 16)
God’s Spirit enters David and abides with him, working in him the courage and wisdom to stand in God’s Name, govern over His chosen people. We notice that though God’s promise and spirit were truly given, God’s work in David was only beginning. David first would face years with many difficult challenges and much danger and hostility, from the outside and from those close to him. Faith in God’s Word alone, trusting in the Lord’s gift of anointing and the Lord’s own promise would carry him through it all, until the Lord brought His promise to fulfillment and David was publicly made king before the whole nation.
David’s life and service in faith is a living picture and example (sometimes called a “type”) for God’s people of the coming Savior. According to God’s own command, Jesus would be baptized/anointed with water. God showed everyone that Jesus is revealed to be the Christ, the promised Son of David, who comes as the one true Savior and King of the whole world. Like David, Jesus received the Holy Spirit in a remarkable way, the Spirit necessary to fulfill His work of redeeming and rescuing us from all our enemies. The Spirit came upon Him in the form of a dove. The voice of our Father spoke from Heaven, “This is my beloved Son.” Like David, Jesus would face great difficulties from friends and foes, suffering even the cross and the tomb to rescue us and establish His eternal kingdom.
Jesus is the Christ, the one God Anointed to be our Savior: our Prophet, Priest and King. Check out Hymn #398 “Hail to the Lord’s Anointed” below. It shows us much more fully what it means that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One:
1 Hail to the Lord’s anointed,
Great David’s greater Son!
Hail, in the time appointed,
His reign on earth begun!
He comes to break oppression,
To set the captive free,
To take away transgression
And rule in equity.
2 He comes with rescue speedy
To those who suffer wrong,
To help the poor and needy
And bid the weak be strong;
To give them songs for sighing,
Their darkness turn to light,
Whose souls, condemned and dying,
Were precious in His sight.
3 He shall come down like showers
Upon the fruitful earth;
Love, joy, and hope, the flowers,
Spring in His path to birth.
Before Him on the mountains
Shall peace, the herald, go;
And righteousness in fountains
From hill to valley flow.
4 Kings shall fall down before Him
And gold and incense bring;
All nations shall adore Him,
His praise all people sing.
To Him shall prayer unceasing
And daily vows ascend;
His kingdom still increasing,
A kingdom without end.
5 O’er ev’ry foe victorious,
He on His throne shall rest,
From age to age more glorious,
All blessing and all-blest.
The tide of time shall never
His covenant remove;
His name shall stand forever
–That name to us is Love.
Parents at home or Sunday School teachers might want to bring a little olive oil along to class. Let the kids touch and feel it, maybe encourage them to let you make the sign of the cross on their foreheads with it, to remind them of their own Baptism. Jesus, the Christ commanded they receive this mark of Baptism, this certain sign, along with His promise and His Spirit. God commands Baptism to provide them with courage and wisdom and everything by needful to live as His people and serve Him right now, through every difficult day that comes. The Lord provides the pastor to baptize, provides witnesses (often parents and sponsors) like Jesse and his other sons who witnessed David’s anointing.
The word “Christ,” means God’s chosen one, the Lord’s Anointed One, the one on whom God places his promise and to whom God gives his gifts. The word “Christian,” that means “little christ.”
You who believe in Jesus the Christ and are Baptized in His Name according to His command: behold what God Himself has chosen to make of you: forgiven, and forever blessed people who bear the Lord’s own promise to help you fulfill all that is given you to do in this world, until we reign with Him in the next. The church record book records your Baptism, and God Himself remembers you were personally added to His kingdom according to His command.
Revelation 1:4-7 “John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.”
Again, the Bible teaches we are members of Jesus the Christ’s own royal family, chosen for service to our neighbors, each according to his or her calling in life:
1 Peter 2:9-10 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”
Now you know what a Christ is, that Jesus is the Christ, and why that matters so much to a Christian people baptized, by His command, into His holy name–like you! Embrace the promise given you, and know God’s Spirit cleanses and appoints His sanctified servants, fitted for the task, even out of the most unlikely of candidates, even me or you. This is His Divine command and doing, that you should be Baptized into Christ and yourself clothed with Christ (Galatians 3:27). Jesus is the Christ, and you are His, little ones, His Christians, sealed by water and His Word. Amen.
+ The Scripture Passage for the Lesson +
1 Samuel 16:1-13 (ESV)
The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go. I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” And Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.”
And the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ And invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do. And you shall anoint for me him whom I declare to you.”
Samuel did what the Lord commanded and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling and said, “Do you come peaceably?” And he said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.
When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before him.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” And Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen these.”
Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and get him, for we will not sit down till he comes here.”
And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is he.” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.
2 Samuel 5:1-5 (ESV)
Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, “Behold, we are your bone and flesh. In times past, when Saul was king over us, it was you who led out and brought in Israel. And the Lord said to you, ‘You shall be shepherd of my people Israel, and you shall be prince over Israel.’”
So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel. David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. At Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and at Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years.
One thought on “What is a Christ, Anyway?”