When I was a boy, we played games like red rover, tag in several variations, baseball in the streets, and a game that we can’t say anymore, but it includes the word “smear.” The basic idea was to really hurt the kid with the ball. Very few rules were involved; just hurt the guy with the ball…if there was no ball, just hurt the guy.
Smearing also is a word used in politics and newspapers. The general idea is to totally ruin someone’s reputation.
Now think about the word “anointed.” If you’re not a church person, you may not be familiar with the word; maybe “christen” is more familiar. To christen brings visions of a ship going out to sea for the first time, with a good looking woman smashing a champagne bottle against the study bow. Perhaps we think of a king or queen being coronated, and the regalia that accompanies the event. Babies being touched ever so sweetly on their heads by a priest; getting christened.
Few of us think of anointing being smashed, smeared, rubbed in; but that indeed is what the word “anointing” means in the Bible. We can see a visual of this when we think of having stiff joints, or muscle pain; we “rub in” some Ben Gay in the hope of a deep and penetrating affect.
When Jesus came to the earth, He set aside His royal claims. Philippians 2 says in one translation that “…he stooped so low.” Many Bible scholars call this the “kenosis” theory; that Jesus emptied himself of His heavenly glory to become a man.
In any event, He not only became a man, but worked His work in the power of the Holy Spirit. Luke 4 describes the Son of Man in detail, as it regards to Him relying upon the Holy Spirit to do “the anointed” work of God.
Jesus testifies about, reading from Isaiah 61 in Luke 4 by reading “the Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me…”
And what was He anointed to do? To sit around in royal robes, enjoying the servitude of the mortals? Not at all; Jesus got His hands dirty; dirty with lepers, liars, cheaters, prostitutes, religious and non religious. He preached, taught, fed, cried, loved, healed, liberated, and loved the worst of humanity, (which is everyone).
Jesus did all of His anointed work through the power of the Holy Spirit. He got smeared into the mess of humanity.
How much more do we need that today, in our lives?