“Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am He.’” John 4:26
Recognizing Jesus as the Messiah is integral part of understanding His completeness and omnipotence in the Bible. Dr. John MacArthur writes:
The hope of the Messiah lies at the heart of the Old Testament. From the third chapter of Genesis (Gen. 3:15) to the third chapter of Malachi (Mal. 3:1), the Hebrew Scriptures repeatedly proclaim that the Savior is coming. In fact, all three parts of the Old Testament canon—the Law, the Psalms, and the Prophets—make precise predictions about Him and His ministry (cf. Luke 24:25-27, 44-45). 1
Scripture unquestionably reveals Jesus as the Messiah—Israel’s Deliverer. The definition of the Hebrew word “Messiah” (Mashiach) and means “anointed one”. The New Testament counterpart is the Greek word “Christ” (Christos). Dr. John MacArthur elaborates: “Christ is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew Messiah, God’s long waited deliverer of Israel, the supreme ‘Anointed One’, the coming High Priest, King, Prophet, and Savior.” 2 Dr. Greg Harris writes: “Christ and Messiah are interchangeable words that mean the same thing. John 1:41 states that Andrew first found ‘his own brother Simon and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which translated means Christ).’” 3
As Jesus was passing through Samaria and wearied from His long journey, He stopped to rest at [Jacobs] a well at about noon. Shortly after a Samaritan woman came to retrieve water. Jesus asked her for a drink. Perplexed by Jesus’ request she said:
How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman? (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered and said to her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water… the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.’ (Jn. 4:9-10, 14b).
When the woman requested for Jesus to give her living water, in His omniscience He recited the woman’s promiscuous past and her current immoral relationship. Awestruck, she perceived Him to be a prophet (Jn. 4:15-19). After further dialogue with Jesus, “The woman said to Him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am He.”’ (Jn. 4:25-26 emphasis added). Jesus revealed to the lowly, irreputable Samaritan woman that He is the Messiah. The MacArthur Commentary on the Gospel of John reads:
Our Lord actually said, ‘I who speak to you am.’ Here is another one of the ‘I am’ statements that are so common in this gospel (cf. 8:58). 4 Twenty-three times in all we find our Lord’s meaningful ‘I AM’ (ego eimi, Gr.) in the Greek text of this gospel (4:26, 6:20, 35, 41, 48, 51; 8:12, 18, 24, 28, 58; 10:7, 9, 11, 14; 11:25; 13:19; 14:6; 15:1, 5; 18:5, 6, 8). 5
By saying I Am, Jesus was not only affirming that He is the Messiah, but donned the name God declared for Himself, when He spoke to Moses from burning bush: “And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM’; and He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” (Ex. 3:14). The Samaritan woman left her water pot behind, hastily went into town and proclaimed to the men the omniscience of Christ; for He knew of her past (Jn. 4:28-29). After her testimony, the men of Samaria went out to Jesus and implored Him to stay with them. Jesus stayed two days and upon hearing Jesus’ Word, many of them believed and proclaimed: “…for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world.” (Jn. 4:42b).
Perhaps one of the strongest passages in the New Testament revealing Jesus as the Christ; is the following:
He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ And Simon Peter answered and said, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.’ Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ. (Matt. 16:15-20—emphasis added).
Peter confessed Jesus not only to be the Lord’s Christ (His anointed One), but of His deity as well (God’s Son). Dr. Greg Harris explained: “…in the Greek…four articles (“the”) are used: “You are the Christ, the Son of the God, the living One.’ Jesus is not a messiah; He is the Messiah. The God who sent Him is not a god…He is the God.” 6 The use of four articles (the), removes any doubt as to Jesus’ Messiahship and deity. Furthermore, Jesus praised Peter, “Blessed are you”. Moreover, Peter’s confession was inspired by the Father, who inspired him to speak those powerful words of testimony regarding His Son: “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” This is reminiscent of the Father’s thunderous affirmation, when His incarnated Son was baptized and anointed by the Holy Spirit:
And after being baptized, Jesus went up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.’ (Matt. 3:16-17).
In fact, all three members of the Trinity testified that Jesus is the Christ. God the Son testified of Himself by permitting John to baptize Him: “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” (Matt. 3:15). God the Holy Spirit testified of Jesus by resting upon Him like that of a dove (v. 16) and God the Father’s booming attestation from heaven. (v. 17).
Incredibly, in the Gospel of John thirty-six times it’s recorded that Jesus declared (as the anointed One), He was “sent” by His Father: (Jn. 3:34; 4:34; 5:23, 24, 30, 36, 37, 38; 6:29, 38, 39, 44, 57; 7:16, 18, 28, 29, 33; 8:16, 18, 26, 29, 42; 9:4; 10:36; 12:44, 49; 13:20; 14:24; 15:21; 16:5; 17:3, 8, 18, 21, 23, 25; 20:21). With such numerous declarations Jesus removes any doubt that He was commissioned by His Father in heaven. The Father sent His Son: as His exact representation (Jn. 12:45); to speak on His behalf (Jn. 3:34, 7:16, 8:26, 12:49, 14:24, 17:8); to do only His will (Jn. 4:34, 5:30, 6:38, 39, 8:29); to perform His work (Jn. 5:36, 9:4); to rightly judge (Jn. 5:30, 8:16); and to grant eternal life to those He was given (Jn. 5:24, 6:39, 44)—“And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.” (Jn. 17:3). Scripture undeniably presents Jesus as God’s Anointed Messenger, the long-awaited Messiah, the Deliverer, to bring salvation to the world. Not only for the nation of Israel (Rom. 11:26-27), but for all who will believe in Him: “for ‘Whoever will call upon the name of the LORD will be saved.’” (Rom. 10:13, cf. Jn. 6:37). Amen!
1 John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, John 1-11, Moody Publishers, 2006, pg. 136
2 John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, Matthew 16-23, Moody Publishers, 1988, pg. 20—parenthesis added
3 Greg Harris, The Bible Expositor’s Handbook Old & New Testaments, B&H Academic, 2020, pg. 281
4 The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, John 1-11, Moody Publishers, 2006, pg. 150
5 The MacArthur Study Bible (NKJ), Word Publishing, 1997, –pg. 1591, “The ‘I AM’ Statements”—emphasis added
6 Greg Harris, The Bible Expositor’s Handbook Old & New Testaments, B&H Academic, 2020, pg. 281