Most of us know what it is like to do a particular job. Most people are employed in a particular capacity to perform a particular function.
Teachers teach. Doctors treat illness. A mechanic fixes your vehicle.
Normally people have been trained in particular knowledge and skills. If they haven’t, they soon learn on the job; experience is their trainer.
So employed, a person functions specifically in that role.
Yes, these days many people are required to be flexible and perform different roles, but they do so for the same reason. They have been appointed to that task.
In return for payment, a person carries out certain duties on behalf of the one who pays.
They are in effect an extension of their employer’s operation. They perform a function within the overall service being supplied by that particular employer.
They are given a role, and they are given the necessary authority to act in that role.
That is how things work. How things get done.
In the Bible we see that God appoints certain people to certain roles to act on his behalf. He gives them authority to do so.
In the Old Testament of the Bible, we see certain men marked out for service [appointed] by a special sign: anointing with oil.
The oil is a physical representation of an unseen spiritual action.
When God commands such an action, he also acts in the unseen spiritual world.
In the Old Testament we see instances of men marked out for the priesthood, or as prophets, or when appointed as king. The action and timing of their appointment is marked by the application of oil – Anointing.
And that anointing signifies and bears witness to a spiritual activity giving authority to act for God in that function.
When we come to Jesus, we invariably speak of him as Christ, or Jesus Christ.
Christ is the Greek word for ‘anointed’; the same word in Hebrew is ‘Messiah’.
And the ‘Messiah’ was a very special person in the Jewish tradition.
He was expected to come and deliver the Jews from all their enemies, once and for all.
He was to be the great leader sent by God to put an end to subjection, and to bring the Jewish people into liberty forever.
In the gospel account of John, one of Jesus’ disciples, we read in chapter 4 that Jesus claimed the title of Messiah.
The anointed, deliverer of the chosen people of God.
He was not the physical, military ruler the Jews are still waiting for.
He was instead a spiritual deliverer.
We see in the very first chapter of the very first gospel account of the New Testament in the Bible, Jesus appointed to be called Jesus by God because:
he shall save his people from their sins.
No longer was the Old Testament ritual of the Temple and its associated priesthood and ritual to apply.
For God had now sent the Messiah – the Anointed – to save his people: not from the physical subjection to other human beings in this world; but from the subjection to the real source of bondage and slavery: sin, and the subsequent subjection to Evil spiritual power.
And the life, death, resurrection, teaching and ministry of Jesus Christ was now God’s ordained pattern for worship.
Kings, priests and prophets were anointed in the Old Testament period. But in this New Dispensation, Jesus Christ was anointed [appointed] to all three roles.
In the spiritual dispensation of true worship, Jesus Christ is the ultimate and final Prophet, Priest and King.
As Prophet, he has brought the final teaching from God the Father; as Priest, he is the only one who can intercede on our behalf before God the Father; as King, he is the ultimate and all powerful Ruler of this world and of our lives.
He has a unique and all powerful office.
His followers, his true disciples, the true believer, the true Christian is submitted to his authority and to his office.
If they are appointed to a role, it is at his behest, and according to his requirements. They have their role, their job, by virtue of his saying so.
And what they do is therefore an extension of the grand enterprise he is undertaking in the spiritual realm, back of and in control of, the physical realm which we all see and know.
Anointing speaks of spiritual truth, of spiritual Reality. And it speaks of God’s appointment.
God appoints for his work, not men.
Men recognise and affirm.