63. For the Christian communities of the first century, however, the promise of an anointed son of David becomes an essential and basic interpretative key. Although the Old Testament and the intertestamental literature can still speak of an eschatology without a Messiah in the context of the vast movement of eschatological expectation, the New Testament itself clearly recognises in Jesus of Nazareth the promised Messiah, awaited by Israel (and by the whole of humanity): it is he, therefore, who fulfils the promise. Hence, the concern for emphasising his Davidic descent, 284 and even his superiority to his royal ancestor, who calls him “Lord” (Mk -37 and par.).
siach transliterated in Greek as messias is only found twice, and is followed by its Greek translation christos, which means “anointed”. 285 In Jn 1:41 the context points to royal messianism (cf. 1:49: “King of Israel”), in 4:25 to a prophetic Messiah, in accordance with Samaritan beliefs: “He will tell you everything”. 286 The title christos is reserved to Jesus except in texts that denounce false messiahs. 287 Together with Kyrios, “Lord”, it is the most frequently used title to identify who Jesus is. It sums up his mystery. He is the object of many confessions of faith in the New Testament. 288
Elsewhere, the New Testament expresses the idea of Messiah by the word christos, but at times also by the expression “he who is to come”
In the Synoptics, the recognition of Jesus as Messiah plays a prominent role, especially in Peter’s confession (Mk 8:27-29 and par.). The explicit prohibition against revealing the title, far from being a denial, confirms rather a radically new understanding of it in contrast to a too earthly political expectation on the part of the disciples and the crowds (8:30). The necessary passage through suffering and death is affirmed. 289 Confronted by the High Priest during his trial, Jesus clearly identifies himself with the Messiah according to Mk -62: the drama of the passion lifts the veil on the specific uniqueness of Jesus’ Messiahship, in line with the Suffering Servant who is described by Isaiah. The paschal events open the way to the parousia, in other words, to the coming of “the Son of Man in the clouds of heaven” (Mk and par.), a hope already expressed opaquely in the apocalypse of Daniel (Dn 7:13-14).
According to Nathan’s prophetic message, the son and successor of David will be recognised as son of God
In the Fourth Gospel, the messianic identity of Jesus is the object of remarkable confessions of faith, 290 but also the ocasion for several controversies with the Jews. 291 Numerous “signs” tend to confirm it. It is plainly a transcendent royalty that is described (-37), incomparably different from the nationalistic and political aspirations current at the time (6:15).
292 The New Testament proclaims that Jesus is in reality “the Christ, the Son of God”, 293 and gives that sonship a transcendent definition: Jesus is one with the Father. 294
A privileged witness to the Church’s post-paschal faith, Luke’s second volume makes the royal consecration (messianic) of Jesus coincide with the moment of his resurrection (Ac 2:36). The demonstration of the title’s credibility becomes an essential element of the apostolic preaching Homepage. 295 In the Pauline corpus, the word “Christ” abounds, frequently as a proper name, deeply rooted in the theology of the cross (1 Co 1:13; 2:2) and glorification (2 Co 4:4-5). Based on Ps 109 (110), verses 1 and 4, the Letter to the Hebrews demonstrates that Christ is the priest-Messiah (5:5-6:10) as well as royal Messiah (1:8; 8:1). This expresses the priestly dimension of Christ’s sufferings and his glorification. In the Book of Revelation, Jesus’ Messiahship is set in the Davidic line: Jesus possesses “the key of David” (Rv 3:7), he fulfils the Davidic messianism of Ps 2; 296 he the shoot and the descendent of David” (Rv ).