Prophet, Priest & King
Part 1: Prophet
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“Jesus: Prophet of Prophets”
Catch my podcast, “Prophet, Priest and King, Part 1” tomorrow, right here . . .
There is so much wrapped up in the story of Christmas that it would take a lifetime to tell, and then some. If you’re like me, you need a Christmas “reset” to help you appreciate this season in fresh ways. What better way to do that than rediscover the identity of Jesus? I decided to study the Word for how Jesus is our Prophet, Priest and King, and share my studies with my readers. This is Part 1, exploring how Jesus is the Prophet of prophets.
There are three (3) characteristics that any true prophet must display, and Jesus Christ has them all. They are as follows:
1. A TRUE PROPHET MUST BE A FORTHTELLER. A forthteller is someone who knows and proclaims divine truth. Jesus did this repeatedly. A look through chapters 5-7 of Matthew’s Gospel will help you appreciate the forthtelling ministry of our Lord, rediscovering his uncanny, unparalleled ability to teach divine truth.
2. A TRUE PROPHET IS A FORETELLER. A foreteller is someone who predicts the future, and Jesus did this repeatedly. John 13:13-19 records Jesus’ foreknowledge of Judas’ betrayal, and Matthew 24 and 25 display some of the most profound predictions of future events ever told. The ability to fore-tell the future was a cornerstone of Jesus’ ministry, and helps us appreciate His unique role as a prophet.
3. A TRUE PROPHET PERFORMS MIRACULOUS SIGNS AND WONDERS. No mere mortal could teach as Jesus taught, predict the future as He did, or perform miracles at will, as Jesus did. A look through the Gospels helps us understand that miracles were a hallmark of Jesus’ life and ministry. Take a look, for instance, at chapters 5-8 of John’s Gospel and you’ll see just a few.
THE BIG DEAL IS REALLY BIG
It’s important to understand that Jesus wasn’t just a prophet. He was the Prophet of prophets. In Deuteronomy 18:15, Moses predicted that the LORD would send a prophet like him who the Jewish people were to follow:
“The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers — it is to him you shall listen . . .” (1)
But that’s not all:
“But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.”
The test of a prophet was (and is) 100% accuracy. Failure, even once, would merit the death penalty. If someone was going to say “God says this,” the next words that came out of their mouth needed to be genuinely from God.
People who want to exercise prophetic gifting today need to understand that the test of a true prophet was never 99.9% accuracy. A true prophet had to be accurate 100% of the time, or the people were commanded to put him/her to death. Why? Because using the Name of the Almighty was no small thing (nor is it a small thing today).
Today, we have such a lax attitude toward the Name of God. For many, the death penalty seems so severe. What we don’t realize, however, is how severely devilish it is to misuse the Name of the LORD, to attribute something false to the One Who cannot lie.
We would do well in Pentecostal and Charismatic circles to rediscover the need to protect the Name of God in alleged “prophecies” so that His Name is not, in the end, profaned. (To be clear, I’m not advocating the death penalty. I’m advocating the rediscovery of using God’s Name in with the utmost respect).
God the Father spoke through Moses to predict the coming of the Ultimate Prophet, Jesus of Nazareth. He demonstrated a 100% track record of reliability, making Him a sure bet for personal deliverance from any and every sin – and direction for all of life – if only we call out to Him.
In Acts 3:22-26, we see the Apostle Peter affirming the view that Jesus was/is the One spoken of in Deuteronomy 18:15:
“Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you. And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.’ God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness.”
The Apostles, those closest to Jesus and the ones entrusted with carrying His torch, understood Him to be the fulfillment of Moses’ prophecy. Are we, more than 2,000 years removed from that time, better suited to question their conclusion? Hardly.
PROPHET OF PROPHETS
Hebrews 1:1-2 helps us understand that Jesus wasn’t just a prophet. He was the Ultimate Prophet:
“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.” (2)
One of the biggest differences between Islam, Mormonism and orthodox, biblical Christianity is that there is no prophet after the Prophet, Jesus. It would be so anticlimactic to have someone come, in “these last days,” who is not the “Son,” who is not the “heir of all things,” and through whom the universe was not created. The whole point of Hebrews 1:1-2 – and the entire Bible – is to present Jesus unique among all other mortals, the immortal Himself who took on flesh and sought out people just like you and me.
The story of Advent is, in part, that God sent His Son as the Ultimate Prophet, so that by faith in Him, each of us could profit by having all our sins forgiven. And, because Jesus has a 100% reliability track record, you can entrust your past, present and future with Him.
Why not accept the gifts of forgiveness, wisdom, comfort and peace that the Father offers you through His Son, Jesus Christ?
In Part 2, I’ll be sharing about how Jesus is the Priest of priests. Y’all come back now, you hear?
Do you understand that Jesus is the Prophet of prophets, unique from anyone who ever lived – or will live? Has what I’ve written helped you appreciate Who He is? How?
1. All Bible verses are from the English Standard Version (ESV).
2. Bold and italics are added for emphasis.