Christ is not the last name of Jesus.
Jesus is the Christ. Jesus is the anointed one of God. Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus is the one who came to save us from missing God’s goal for our life.
And so, here is some background. The Greek translation of Messiah is khristos (χριστος), anglicized as Christ, and we commonly refer to Jesus as either “Christ” or the “Messiah.” We believe the Messianic prophecies were fulfilled in the mission, death, and resurrection of Jesus and that he will return to fulfill the rest of Messianic prophecy. We believe that Jesus is the anointed King and our High Priest.
I think we ought to quit using the word Christ. I don’t think that means anything to most people today. We should be clear about who Jesus is.
Jesus was anointed. It is a stunning story in that the person anointing Him would not be who we would choose or expect. She is Mary, the sister of Martha (see John 11). Tradition holds that she was a prostitute or as Luke described her, the town harlot. Jesus is silent on the nature of her numerous sins but that didn’t matter to Jesus. She knew who Jesus was. She, and she alone, anointed him as the Messiah. Jesus singled her out and made a point of forgiving her.
One of the Pharisees asked him over for a meal. He went to the Pharisee’s house and sat down at the dinner table. Just then a woman of the village, the town harlot, having learned that Jesus was a guest in the home of the Pharisee, came with a bottle of very expensive perfume and stood at his feet, weeping, raining tears on his feet. Letting down her hair, she dried his feet, kissed them, and anointed them with the perfume. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man was the prophet I thought he was, he would have known what kind of woman this is who is falling all over him.”
Jesus said to him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
“Oh? Tell me.”
“Two men were in debt to a banker. One owed five hundred silver pieces, the other fifty. Neither of them could pay up, and so the banker canceled both debts. Which of the two would be more grateful?”
Simon answered, “I suppose the one who was forgiven the most.”
“That’s right,” said Jesus. Then turning to the woman, but speaking to Simon, he said, “Do you see this woman? I came to your home; you provided no water for my feet, but she rained tears on my feet and dried them with her hair. You gave me no greeting, but from the time I arrived she hasn’t quit kissing my feet. You provided nothing for freshening up, but she has soothed my feet with perfume. Impressive, isn’t it? She was forgiven many, many sins, and so she is very, very grateful. If the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimal.”
Then he spoke to her: “I forgive your sins.”
That set the dinner guests talking behind his back: “Who does he think he is, forgiving sins!”
He ignored them and said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”