When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?" They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets." (Matt. 16:13-14)And here is the answer given by Simon Peter:
“You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” (Matt. 16:16)The word "Messiah" is being translated from the Greek word Χριστός (Christos), which according to the lexicon means, "anointed."
The word "anointed" is also used throughout the Old Testament, describing those where were empowered by the Supreme Being to serve Him as teachers:
"Anoint them just as you anointed their father, so they may serve Me as priests. Their anointing will be to a priesthood that will continue throughout their generations." (Exodus 40:15)This word "anointed" is being translated from the Hebrew word מָשַׁח (mashach), which has also been translated into "Messiah" by Jewish scribes translating and interpreting the Torah.
And for this reason, there is a debate amongst the modern ecclesiastical Jewish and Christian sectarian institutions regarding who the real Messiah is.
But in reality we can see clearly from Exodus 40 that Messiah or anointed is referring to someone who is empowered by the Supreme Being to represent Him. Someone who will represent the Supreme Being as a priest - taken from the Hebrew word כָּהַן (kahan) which means "a prophet" or "a deputy, delegate" according to Gesenius's Lexicon.
And is this not who Jesus was? God's representative?
Consider this statement:
“My teaching is not my own. It comes from the One who sent me." (John 7:16)This states clearly that Jesus is teaching the message of the Supreme Being. This means that Jesus is God's representative.
Consider also this statement:
"For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of Him who sent me." (John 6:38)Do do the will of the Supreme Being means to be the Supreme Being's servant. This is consistent with God's statement:
"...so they may serve Me as priests."
Being "anointed" means "one who has been chosen." In other words, "anointed one" requires someone else anoint the "anointed." There has to be an “anointee” so to speak. In other words, Jesus had to be "anointed" or "chosen" by someone. Who was that? Was it a group of Israelites or some rabbis that got together to chose Jesus? Don't be ridiculous.
It was God. God chose or anointed Jesus as His representative. God chose Jesus to teach on His behalf. This is the meaning of Messiah: God’s representative who comes to save us with God's teachings, must be chosen by God.
This can only mean that the ultimate Χριστός (Christos) or מָשַׁח (mashach) - the ultimate Messiah - also sometimes translated to "Savior" - is the Supreme Being.
Peter also says that Jesus is the “son of the living God.” The the Greek word being translated to "son" is υἱός (huios). As stated in the lexicon, this can only indicate a father/son relationship in "a restricted sense." In this context, according to the Greek lexicon, it also means: "one who depends on another or is his follower."
This means that the most literal translation of Peter's statement would be something like:
"devoted follower of the living God."
"loving servant of the living God."
In this regard, we find that on occasion Jesus used the word “Abba” to refer to the Supreme Being. While Abba was translated from Aramaic to Greek and then English as “Father,” the real meaning of the word “Abba” has a more intimate flavor - one of complete reliance and commitment. According to one professor of Semitic Languages, the more realistic translation of Abba is conveyed with the word, “Daddy.”
A real relationship between a child and a father is more intimate and loving than the concept of seed-giver. Does a young child refer to their father as "father" - as in "hello father." Only in the movies. In real life, a child who looks up to and depends upon his father will certainly call his father "daddy." This is because there is an intimacy between them.
In the same way, the relationship that existed between Jesus and the Supreme Being is an intimate relationship. It is not an official relationship, as is construed by many sectarian ecclesiastical institutions and their teachers. It is a loving relationship, which is why Jesus also asked his followers - as Moses and others had asked their followers before - to love the Supreme Being with all their heart and soul.
Jesus indicated this sort of intimacy with the Supreme Being is required elsewhere:
“I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 18:3)Consider how a child sees his father: With complete reliance and trust. We can see from Jesus' statement that this attitude of reliance and innocence that must be developed between ourselves and the Supreme Being in order for us to mature spiritually. This is the mood of a humble loving servant - someone who is intimately related in the mood of an innocent, reliant child.
Indeed, there are many who would like to falsely position Jesus into the stature of the only ‘son of God.’ Jesus himself did not agree with this position, however. For example, in Matthew we find that Jesus said:
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons [servants] of God.” (Matt. 5:9)Here again the Greek word υἱός (huios) is being used, but this time in the plural sense. As such, a claim that Jesus is the only son - even if we accept this mistranslation - of God would contradict Jesus' own teachings.
Furthermore, to assume the Supreme Being can only have one son - again if we assume this mistranslation to "son" - would be saying that the Supreme Being is impotent. While a human male can have many sons, God can only have one? This is a preposterous conclusion.
It is obvious from this exchange between Jesus and Jesus' students that we must see Jesus as he is. Jesus didn't want his students to misunderstand his role and purpose. He didn't want his students to think that he was claiming to be God. He saw himself as a simple loving servant of the Supreme Being - someone who saw the Supreme Being as his life and soul. This is why Jesus kneeled with his head to the ground and prayed:
“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.” (Matt. 26:39)And this is why his most important teaching - consistent with Moses' teachings - was:
" 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" (Matt. 22:37-38)
(For a translation of Jesus' statements from the Book of Matthew without institutional sectarian influence, see the Gospels of Jesus - translated from the original Greek texts.)