Moses says, as it is recorded in Deuteronomy 18.15-18, “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him. For this is what you asked of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, ‘Let us not hear the voice of the Lord our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die.’
The Lord said to me: ‘What they say is good. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him.'”
Jesus fulfills this. John 1.45 declares, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth.”
What does it mean for us to understand Jesus as the Prophet?
In the Old Testament, God spoke to his people through prophets—men (and a few women) specially called to speak God’s Word to his people. Here are some of the prophecies we received in the Old Testament that speak of coming Messiah, Prophet, and King:
- Isaiah spoke of a divine King and suffering Servant, who will be punished for his people
- Hosea revealed a relationship that willingly redeemed his unfaithful bride from prostitution and slavery
- Daniel’s vision was of a stone, not hewn by human hands, that will crush every human kingdom
- Ezekiel’s prophecy gave hope of a city where we will enjoy God’s presence forever
While these prophecies are in part, Jesus’ life reveals the full revelation of these prophetic hopes, dreams, and desires. That means if the prophetic voices of the Old Testament seem out-of-line, or out-of-character of the loving gracious God that Jesus teaches us as heavenly Father, we must remember they are not “full revelations.” They are smokey mirrors, or unfocused vision – not 20/20, for sure.
Furthermore, we must remember that Christ and God are one. Which means that Christ was and continues to be God. So when we speak of Jesus, we are also speaking of God. In other words, if we can say it of Jesus, it must also be true of God. God is no different in character or nature than Jesus. So if Christ is compassionate, caring, patient, wise, gracious, merciful, then God MUST also be those things.
This is the hope we have in Christ the Prophet. Just as the prophets of old revealed the truth of God’s nature, warned of His action, and performed signs and miracles, Christ fully offered and still offers to us today the presence and revelation of these things, as we live in the kingdom.
During this Advent season, we not only wait for the annual celebration of the birth of the Christchild. But each Advent (and each day throughout the year) we should yearn for the return of Christ, and full unveiling of his kingdom. And while we wait for that, those of the faith should be striving to cultivate as much of that kingdom in our lives – through the nature and Spirit of Christ. And so we wait, we watch, we wonder, we witness, and we worship.
May God be with you in this final week of Advent as you continue to look for Christ, and to plant him in the world around you.