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Anointed One

The word "Christ" means "anointed one" in Greek; the word "Messiah" has the same meaning in Hebrew. In the New Testament, Jesus declares that God has anointed him to preach the gospel to the poor, to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim deliverance to captives, and to give sight to the blind (Luke 4:16-21). As Messiah, Christ inaugurates the fulfillment of the millennial promises, as presented in the rich symbolic imagery of the ancient Hebrew prophets. Christ's work is to transform the prophets' visions from poetry into reality. Swords will be beaten into plowshares and the lion will lie down with the lamb (2 Ne. 12:4; 21:6-7). Righteous government will be established, administering justice and equity for the poor (2 Ne. 21:1-4). Deserts will blossom and bring forth pools of water (Isa. 35:1, 7; D&C 133:29). Exiles will be gathered home, and all nations will be blessed (Isa. 51:11; 52:10; 1 Ne. 19:16-17; 21:9-12).

As disciples of Christ, we are called to the same work: a work of healing, enlightenment, liberation, justice, peace-making, solidarity with the poor, and renewal for the earth. The anointing we receive in the temple vividly reminds us that we are co-workers with the Anointed One, empowered to help bring to pass the fulfillment of God's promises.

Obert C. Tanner: One catches some idea of the many-sidedness to Christ's ministry in His first sermon, delivered in the synagogue of His home town of Nazareth, when He told the people what He was going to do with His life. "The spirit of the Lord is upon me," He said, "because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised." (Luke 4:18) Here is a gospel to the poor, to the rights of labor, sympathy for poverty, and regard for the natural claims of brotherhood. Here is a healing gospel. Here is an emancipating gospel, deliverance—sight to the blind, to "see the will of God upon the scroll of destiny" and so find peace. Here is a liberating gospel, "to set at liberty them that are bruised."
Christ's Ideals for Living (Salt Lake City: Deseret Sunday School Union Board, 1955), 112

Gerald N. Lund: His purposes are also ours—that we reach out to the poor, that we touch the brokenhearted, that we seek out those who are bruised, that we find those who are laden with heaviness and lighten that heaviness with genuine praise, that we seek those who mourn, whether from family problems, physical impairments, or mental difficulties . . . That is our mission—whether we are General Authorities, teachers of the incarcerated, or neighbors with simple faith. The wonderful hope the Savior offers may be realized by any one of his brothers and sisters, and we may share in that divine work.
Jesus Christ, Key to the Plan of Salvation (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1991), 27-38

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