Various names and titles belong to Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the second Person of the triune Godhead. His personal name is Jesus, meaning “savior.” Christ is the Lord’s title and means “anointed one.” For thousands of years, Israel looked forward to the arrival of an anointed Savior promised by God and foretold by Israel’s prophets (Daniel 9:25–26; Isaiah 9:1–7; 11:1–10; Jeremiah 23:5–6). When John the Baptist arrived on the biblical scene, the time had come. John’s mission in preaching repentance (Mark 1:4) was to prepare the people of Israel and the world to receive their long-awaited Savior—the Coming One, Israel’s Messiah.
Many of John’s followers were confused, “waiting expectantly” and “wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah. John answered them all, ‘I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire’” (Luke 3:15–17). John then pointed his followers to Jesus (John 1:29).
When John was locked up in prison, he sent two disciples to ask Jesus, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?” (Luke 7:19, NKJV). John sought confirmation that Jesus was Israel’s Messiah. Was Jesus indeed Israel’s deliverer, the Coming One they had been expecting, or should they look for someone else? John was likely expecting the Messiah to bring judgment, wrath, and destruction (Luke 3:7–9). Jesus didn’t seem to fit the bill.
Everything John had done in ministry to the point he was arrested was to prepare Israel and the world for the Coming One. John and his followers assumed their Messiah and Savior would come as a mighty ruling King (see John 6:14–15; Luke 19:38) and not a humble servant. Jesus answered the question John had asked from prison: “Go back to John and tell him what you have seen and heard—the blind see, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor” (Luke 7:22, NLT).
For now, the Messiah had come to bring the good news of salvation. He had been anointed “to bring Good News to the poor, . . . to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come” (Luke 4:18–19, NLT; see also Isaiah 61:1–2). The Messiah would come again to bring judgment in the future, but for the present He was bringing good news.
The apostle Paul explained that the historical Adam served as “a symbol, a representation of Christ, who was yet to come” (Romans 5:14, NLT). Citing Habakkuk 2:3, the writer of Hebrews referred to God’s promise of a Coming One who would rescue those who trust in Him and live by faith: “For in just a little while, the Coming One will come and not delay. And my righteous ones will live by faith. But I will take no pleasure in anyone who turns away” (Hebrews 10:37–38, NLT). In Revelation 1:8, Jesus is “the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end, . . . the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come—the Almighty One” (NLT).
Even now, Jesus is the Coming One. His closing words to us in Scripture are “Behold, I am coming soon” (Revelation 22:7, 12, 20, ESV). As believers, we are to live every day with the eager expectation and anticipation of Christ’s return (Revelation 16:15; 2 Peter 3:11–14).