We’ve been looking at the names of God and how his names help us understand him better. This week I want to look at the name, ‘The Prophet’, which is used to refer to God the Son.
At the time of Jesus’ ministry, the Jews were looking for ‘The Prophet’. They even asked John the Baptist if he was the one they were looking for: ‘They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.”’ (John 1:21).
Who is ‘The Prophet’ who the Jews were expecting? God had promised a particular prophet through Moses many centuries before Jesus: ‘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 18:18-19).
So who is ‘The Prophet’? The second person of the trinity: Jesus Christ.
Jesus was clearly a prophet. For example, many of the Jews declared that Jesus was a prophet. After Jesus raised a widow’s son to life, we read: ‘They were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help his people”’ (Luke 7:16).
Jesus himself was conscious of his prophetic office: ‘There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say’ (John 12:48-50).
But is Jesus ‘The Prophet’? Yes. The Apostle Peter in one of his sermons in Acts applies the text from Moses to Jesus: ‘Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you– even Jesus. He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. For 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. Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from among his people.” Indeed, all the prophets from Samuel on, as many as have spoken, have foretold these days’ (Acts 3:19-24).
So what does it mean that Jesus is ‘The Prophet’. It tells us that we should listen to our God. Our God is the God who speaks – unlike the mute idols. God has spoken by his prophets and in ‘The Prophet’. The writer of Hebrews says: ‘In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe’ (Hebrews 1:1-2). The last word in the last days is from ‘The Prophet’.
Have you listened to ‘The Prophet’? Or do you cover your ears and refuse to trust him and his words? Joel Radford