John 4:25-26: The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

These two verses are part of the account in John’s Gospel of Jesus’ conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well. He admitted openly to her that He was the Messiah, the deliverer whom God had been promising to send to His people for hundreds of years.

The only other place in the New Testament where the word Messiah appears is also in John’s Gospel. After meeting Jesus, Andrew told his brother, Simon Peter, “We have found the Messias” (John 1:41).

It’s not surprising that Messiah appears rarely in the New Testament, because Jesus discouraged others from referring to Him by this title (Matthew 16:20). The Jewish people expected their Messiah to be a political and military deliverer who would throw off the yoke of Rome and restore the fortunes of Israel. Jesus had come into the world as a spiritual Messiah, but He avoided this name because it would lead the people to expect Him to be something He was not.

Though the word Messiah is rare in the New Testament, the concept appears on almost every page. The Greek term christos, rendered as “Christ,” means “anointed” or “anointed one”-a word referring to the Messiah or God’s Chosen One.

Even when the Messiah is mentioned in the Old Testament, the word itself is seldom used. Usually this leader who was to come is described as a Prince (Daniel 8:25), Ruler (Micah 5:2), or Servant (Isaiah 53:11). The rare exception is the book of Daniel, which contains a reference to Messiah the Prince (Daniel 9:25).