The word ‘prophet’ can create a picture in our mind, of a rugged man, dressed in rough clothes, and shouting out warnings from God.
Jesus didn′t really fit that picture.
But, it is interesting to see that the people of that time, saw Jesus as a prophet.
When Jesus raised a dead young man from out of his coffin, the crowd were all filled with awe and praised God and said:
“A great prophet has appeared among us, God has come to help his people.” Luke 7:12-16 (NIV)
Then when Jesus entered Jerusalem, with the crowds shouting hosanna the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” the crowds answered,
“This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” Matthew 21:9-11 (NIV)
Whether the people agreed with Jesus or not, they did see Him as a prophet.
What is a prophet?
What does the word ‘prophet’ mean? Well, the dictionary states:
“One who foretells future events, a revealer, or interpreter of the Divine will.”
In other words; someone who reveals God′s will and purposes, someone who reveals what is on God′s heart.
Do you think that is a description of what Jesus did while on this earth?
And is this what He still does?
Well yes, Jesus said:
“When someone looks at Me, they see the One who sent Me. I have come into the world as a light.” John 12:45
And Jesus said:
“For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but to do the will of Him who sent Me.” John 6:38
And if that is not enough, one of Jesus′ Names is: ‘The Word of God.’
So, yes Jesus does reveal what God′s will and purposes are.
The special prophet?
Throughout history, most of the Jews have looked out for a very special Prophet, and some are still looking even today. In Deuteronomy Moses said:
“The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me, from among your own people; you must listen to everything He tells you.” Deuteronomy 18:14 (NIV)
They even believed that this prophet would be born at Bethlehem, and this became a stumbling block to some of them, because Jesus lived at Nazareth in Galilee.
When the crowds were discussing whether Jesus was the Prophet or not, the Pharisees said to the crowd:
“Are you from Galilee too? Look into it, and you will find that the Prophet, does not come out of Galilee!” John 7:52
And earlier they had said:
“Does not the Scripture say that the Christ will come from David′s family, and from Bethlehem!”
They were referring to Micah chapter 5 which says:
“But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least, among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a Ruler, who will be the shepherd of My people Israel.”
If their minds hadn′t been so hostile towards Jesus, they would have discovered, that Jesus was in fact born in Bethlehem.
So back to the Deuteronomy passage, this is Moses speaking, teaching them what God had said:
“The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him – I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account.” Deuteronomy 18:14-19 (NIV)
From this we can see that this Prophet would be raised up from among them.
This speaks of Christ′s birth, He was One of their nation, a Jew.
He lived among them, Emmanuel – God with us. God living among His people.
Moses said that the Prophet would be like himself, so in the next post we’ll look at some of the similarities.
Wise men image: thanks to The Pictorial Dictionary published
by The Educational Book Company, London