The Heidelberg Catechism (Q. 31) says Jesus is called the Christ because Christ means “anointed,” and He was ordained by God and anointed by the Spirit for His work as our prophet, priest, and king. What is perhaps more startling is the way the Catechism applies this to us in Christ. After asking, “But why art thou called a Christian?” (Q. 32), the Catechism answers,
Because I am a member of Christ by faith, and thus am partaker of His anointing; that so I may confess His name [that is our prophetic anointing]; and present myself a living sacrifice of thankfulness to Him [that is our priestly anointing]; and also that with a free and good conscience I may fight against sin and Satan in this life, and afterwards reign with Him eternally, over all creatures (that is our kingly anointing). [“The Heidelberg Catechism,” in Doctrinal Standards, Liturgy, and Church Order, ed. Joel R. Beeke (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 1999), 40. Further references from the Heidelberg Catechism are drawn from this translation.]
Jesus is our mediator. He is our prophet to teach us; our priest to sacrifice, intercede, and bless us; and our king to rule and guide us. In union with Him, we share His offices in a limited but important way. If Christ is not yet your living head, I beg you to be reconciled to God by trusting in Christ alone to save you. You who are in Christ, from the least to the greatest, are all office bearers by union with Christ.
This office-bearing has huge implications for leading our families. As God’s ordained representatives to our wives and children, we should serve them as prophets, priests, and kings. The word father implies that we should be images of the Father of glory, whose brilliance shines fully in His Son. Similarly, if you bear the title husband, God calls you to bear the image of our heavenly Husband who loved His bride, the church, and laid down His life to make her holy. We are to reflect all three aspects of Christ’s office-bearing to our family in our homes.
How Should Men Lead Their Families?
Joel R. Beeke