Jesus Christ: The Great Prophet
We read in Isa. 26:3: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” We need to “stay” or fix our minds on our Lord. This is the only way to have peace in these chaotic times in which we live. How do we do this? We can meditate on the Lord in His many offices and works. We can think of His passive and active obedience. We can meditate on Him in the Three Persons in the Godhead, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. One of the very edifying ways in which we can think of our Lord Jesus Christ is to contemplate Him in His Mediatorial Offices of Prophet, Priest, and King. In this short article let us look at Him as the Great Prophet. In doing so, we must remember that we are just scratching the surface. Entire sections in Systematic Theologies and entire books have been devoted to this subject. However, we will be edified and strengthened as we look at just the highlights of the wonderful subject of the Prophetic Office of the Lord Jesus Christ.
When we think of a prophet, we usually think of one who can foretell the future. That is certainly one of the functions of a true prophet. One of the strongest evidences of the inspiration of the Scriptures is the multitude of events that were predicted in one place in the Bible and were fulfilled in minute detail in another place. The sufferings and crucifixion of Christ were foretold in startling detail in such places as Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53. However, the prediction of future events is only a part of the function of the prophetic office. In short, the prophet was one who spoke for God, one who revealed God to His people. Many times in the Old Testament when a king wanted to hear from God, he called for a true prophet.
The prophetic office of Jesus Christ was foretold in Deuteronomy 18:15, “The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken…” For centuries the Jewish people were looking for and longing for the appearance of this very special prophet. When our Lord Jesus began His public ministry, there were occasions when some recognized that Jesus must have been this predicted prophet. When Jesus fed the five thousand with the loaves and fishes they responded as is recorded in John 6:14, “Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.” On another occasion, when some people heard Jesus speak, “Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet” (John 7:40). Jesus showed that He was the great Prophet by what He did and by what He said.
Christ is the Prophet whom we need to instruct us in the things of God so as to heal our blindness and ignorance.
We desperately need our great Prophet to reveal the things of God to us. How thankful we should be that He has so graciously taught us of the things of God. As Joel Beeke wrote: “Christ is the Prophet whom we need to instruct us in the things of God so as to heal our blindness and ignorance.” Of course, our dear Lord Jesus is eminently qualified to reveal God to us. He participates in the glorious unity of the Trinity. The most wonderful knowledge is that which the Three Persons of the Trinity have of each other. Speaking of this closeness that Jesus has with the Father, we read in John 1:18, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” There have been other prophets who have revealed the things of God to us, but none like His Son, the Great Prophet. This is made plain in Hebrews 1:1,2: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds…” Oh, what a great privilege that our Lord would actually reveal Himself to poor sinners such as ourselves! He does not reveal Himself to everyone, but only to those He loves with an everlasting love. There is an amazing passage in Matthew 11:25, 26: “At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.” In the parallel account in Luke 10: 21, it is said that Jesus “rejoiced in spirit” as He said these words.
Do you want to know and be acquainted with God the Father? I certainly hope so, for, according to John 17: 3, eternal life is knowing the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. We know God only through the revelation of the Great Prophet. Philip wanted to see the Father. Jesus spoke to him in John 14:9: “Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?”
What should our response be to the wonderful revelation that God has given to us through the Great Prophet? We should heed what the Father told Peter on the Mount of Transfiguration. There our Lord had revealed some of His glory to Peter, James and John. Moses and Elijah had also appeared. Understandably, Peter was very excited. He suggested that they build three tabernacles, one for Jesus, one for Moses and one for Elijah. God spoke to them out of heaven in Matthew 17:5, “While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” Are you hearing the wonderful voice of the Great Prophet? He is speaking to you in His word. Are you reading it, studying it, meditating on it, and obeying it? What is the most important, endless world news and commentary, video games, social media, entertainment, or the voice of the Great Prophet? We would do well to do what Eli told Samuel to do when the Lord spoke to him. 1 Samuel 3:9, “Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth.”
The wonderful Great Prophet is speaking to the children of God today. Are we listening?