Thursday, December 4, 2014

Solus Christus: The Prophet

God’s promise of redemption through the Messiah took many different forms in the Old Testament. Most often this promise took the form of prophecies about the Messiah to come. These prophecies are throughout the Old Testament, and today we will look at one given by Moses in Dt. 18:15-19:
15 “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— 16 just as you desired of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.’ 17 And the LORD said to me, ‘They are right in what they have spoken. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. 19 And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him.
Jesus is the prophet of whom Moses spoke, and those who saw His earthly ministry knew it. Nearly fifteen hundred years after Moses foretold about a prophet like him, Jesus called Philip to be an apostle. When He did, Philip went to get his brother Nathanael and exclaimed, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” The people who followed Jesus, listened to His teaching, and saw His miracles knew it as well for they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!” When Peter addressed the Jews in Solomon’s Portico, he reminded them that Jesus is the prophet who was to follow Moses (cf. Ac. 3:22). And, finally, when Stephen (the first recorded martyr) was before the Sanhedrin charged with preaching the gospel, he too told his accusers that Jesus is the prophet Moses promised (cf. Ac. 7:37-38).

The office of prophet is one of the offices that Jesus executes for His people as our Redeemer. The Westminster Shorter Catechism asks in question #23, “What offices doth Christ execute as our Redeemer?” and it answers, “Christ, as our Redeemer, executeth the offices of a prophet, of a priest, and of a king, both in his estate of humiliation and exaltation.” Then, to further explain what this means, in #24 it asks, “How doth Christ execute the office of a prophet?” and it answers, “Christ executeth the office of a prophet, in revealing to us, by His word and Spirit, the will of God for our salvation.” A prophet was God’s spokesman who revealed to the people the will of God for their salvation and bore witness to the Messiah. In the Old Testament, there were many prophets, but now that Christ has come and God’s Word is complete, there is only one and it is Jesus Himself. Through His Word He informs us of all we need to know about God and His will, and through His Holy Spirit He gives us wisdom and understanding of it.

Did you notice why the Israelite people knew they needed a prophet? They had said to Moses, “Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.” They knew that if they had to face God themselves, they would be consumed. So it is with us. We can’t bear to be in the presence of God without a mediator—one who stands between us and God. Jesus as the incarnate God-man is that Mediator, and as our Mediator He reveals to us God’s will. Without Him, we would've been left without “hope and without God in the world.” Thank God for the prophet like Moses, indeed greater than Moses (cf. He. 3-4)!

On this day of Advent remember that you would not know anything about salvation, Jesus, Advent, or God, if it were not for Jesus being your prophet. He is necessary for us to know God and He is also sufficient for us to know God—we need no other prophets in our lives. When you read His Word (one of the means by which He reveals God’s will to us), ask Him to make it clear to you by the Holy Spirit. Don’t be satisfied with your own mental abilities; ask for the Spirit’s illumination. He will give it to you!

By His Grace,

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