Weekend Message Takeaway: “Messiah Complex”

Who Is the True Messiah?

From desiring to be the master of one’s own destiny to having a preoccupation with self, to some degree, every single one of us suffers from a messiah complex. In fact, we see the roots of this stem all the way back to the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:5), as mankind has always wanted to be “like God.” It is so rampant—and yet often unnoticed—that it blinds so many from seeing the true Messiah!

In John 5:16–47, Jesus is confronted by the Pharisees, who are questioning His authority and claims. In our study this weekend, Pastor Doug continued our journey through the Gospel of John where Jesus presented evidence using four key witnesses—John the Baptist, His great works, the Father, and the Scriptures—that He is the Messiah.

Watch the video below to see a few highlights from the teaching and share it with your friends via social media. To view the message in its entirety, or to browse through the various great resources on this study, click here.


Let’s recap some of the key talking points from Pastor Doug's teaching this weekend:

Three Signs You May Be Suffering From the Messiah Complex
1. "It's up to me." (CONTROL)
2. "I have nothing to learn." (STUBBORNNESS)
3. "It's all about me." (VANITY)

There Is a Messiah, and You’re Not Him (John 5:16–23): So often, you hear people claim to admire Jesus as a good moral teacher who exemplified love, compassion, and a heart for social justice towards the outcast. And while all of this is true, one cannot leave it there because Jesus didn’t stop there. He wasn’t just a good moral teacher and example for us to follow. He claimed to be the Son of God! In fact, the Pharisees sought to kill Him because He was making Himself equal to God. You can’t separate the good moral teacher from the Man who claimed to be God. So, He is either a liar, a lunatic, or He is Lord, the Messiah, God in the flesh.

Four Proofs Jesus Is the Messiah
1. The Father and Son share the work (v. 17).
2. The Father and Son give life (v. 21).
3. The Father and Son share honor (v. 22).
4. The Father and Son share authority (v. 23).

The Messiah Has Witnesses to His Deity (John 5:31–40): Using ancient courtroom language, Jesus calls four witnesses to the stand to testify on His divinity. 

The Four Witnesses to Jesus' Lordship
1. John the Baptist (v. 33–35)
2. The Signs and miracles (v. 36)
3. God the Father (v.37–38)
4. The Scriptures (v. 39)

Every Story in the Bible Points to the Messiah (John 5:39): From Genesis on, the Bible points to the coming of the Messiah. And the Jews knew the stories, many of them by heart; they knew what it said but not what it meant. They didn’t see the truth because they weren’t truly looking for it. It goes back to the Messiah Complex, as the Pharisees believed they could save themselves through their rituals, traditions, sacrifices, and knowledge. 

The Messiah Doesn't Make It About Him (John 5:40-47): The Pharisees claimed to believe in Moses, but if that were true, they would have seen in the heart of the Scriptures a real manifestation of God. This would have led them to seeing Christ for who He truly is. Everything they clung to was meant to teach them. It should have led them to Jesus. But because they only embraced these things at the surface—never looking deeper to their true significance, always seeking to make religion serve their needs for their glory, to make it about themselves with no love in their hearts—they never actually believed Moses. They suffered from a severe Messiah Complex. Contrast this with Jesus, the Messiah, the only One who is worthy of all glory . . . He came to seek and save us, to take on the form of a servant, and die in our place. He made it about us!

Quote to Remember: "The only person who ever lived that hasn’t suffered from a messiah complex was in fact the Messiah."—Pastor Doug Sauder

Spend some time reflecting on this weekend’s teaching by answering the following questions:

1. Are you suffering from the Messiah Complex?
        a. Do you hate feeling like you’re not in control?
        b. Do you feel defensive when others attempt to speak into your life or teach you?
        c. Are you preoccupied with yourself? With your appearance and image? With people recognizing and praising your contributions or insights?
2. What area in your life do you need a breakthrough? What area in your life do you need God’s help?
3. How has God worked in your life? How has He given you life, authority, and honor?
4. What evidence of Jesus’ lordship and deity have you seen in your life? How has this proof impacted your daily walk?
5. How are you being a witness to Jesus as the Messiah? What testimony is your life conveying?


Yesterday, we began our church-wide, 21-day fast! Throughout the Bible, we see fasting as a way to attune our hearts to God’s. And that’s exactly what we want to do, together as a church family. So, we invite you to take this journey with us. It’s not for the faint of heart, but for those willing to be deeply challenged to be more like Jesus for the sake of the lost.

Think about one person you want to see come to know Jesus this Easter, the person you will invite to Easter service this year. Pray and fast over them, over the work of the Spirit in their heart and life, and over their salvation. Participate with God in the harvest, and celebrate the harvest at Easter.

If you need help determining what kind of fast to take part in, or if you’re looking for more information on why we fast, as well as some additional resources, click here.


Looking for more in-depth study and great resources to help you gain a deeper understanding of the lives of David and Jesus? Check out our special webpage, complete with articles, a timeline from David to Jesus, supplemental material to highlight each week’s topic, and downloadable series images for your mobile device or tablet. To view the site, click here! 

Saturdays, April 22–May 14, 4pm
Sundays, April 23–May 15, 9am
Wednesdays, April 26–May 17, 6:30pm
Are you new to Calvary? Did you recently make the decision to follow Jesus? Are you looking to plug into our church? Connect is the perfect starting point for you! Connect is a four-week experience for those who are new to Christianity, curious about Calvary, or want to get involved. It’s a place where you can ask questions, learn more about Jesus, find great community, and discover how you can be part of something bigger than all of us. Click here to register.


This Wednesday, Pastor Jerry Sander from our Boca campus will take a look at a dramatic scene that unfolds in 1 Samuel 24 between King Saul and David inside of a cave. We’ll see a powerful example of how to not be overcome by evil, but to overcome evil with good.

This weekend, as we continue our journey through the Gospel of John, Pastor Doug will explore John 6:1–24, where we’ll see one of the biggest, most wondrous, and seemingly impossible miracles of Jesus: the feeding of the 5,000.

About the Author

Danny Saavedra

Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.