WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
OCTOBER 28, 2022
TOPIC: WAS JESUS A PROPHET?
BY T. O. BANSO
“Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, ‘This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world’” (John 6:14 New King James Version).
Recently a non-Christian referred to Jesus as one of the prophets and some Christians considered such a description as an underestimation of Jesus. Was Jesus a prophet?
Who is a prophet? First, he is a spokesman or mouthpiece for God. His words are not his. He is a representative of God. His primary function is to speak the message God has given him. The Bible said many times that the word of the LORD came to the prophets.
In 2 Samuel 7:4, the Bible says that it happened that night that the word of the LORD came to Nathan. Also in 2 Kings 20:4, the word of the LORD came to the Prophet Isaiah. The Prophet Jeremiah said in Jeremiah 1:4 that the word of the LORD came to him. Similarly, the prophet Ezekiel said that the word of the LORD came to him (Ezekiel 3:16). Even when this phrase “the word of the LORD came” is not used, prophets delivered the messages they received from the LORD or did as the LORD told them. Prophets don’t speak for themselves but for God.
Secondly, prophets foretell or speak about what would happen in the future. Foretelling is what many people consider to be what defines a prophet. This is however not the primary function of a prophet. Speaking for God may sometimes involve foretelling. However, if the message God has given his servant does not have to do with foretelling, it doesn’t remove anything from him as a prophet. Prophets such as Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, and Micah in the Old Testament foretold what would happen, including the birth of Jesus. In the New Testament, the Prophet Agabus, foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine throughout the world, which happened in the days of Claudius Caesar (Acts 11:28).
The third function of a prophet is performing miracles. Some prophets, in the Bible, performed miracles, including healing. Moses, Elijah, and Elisha did miracles (Exodus 14:21-22; 1 Kings 18:36-38; 2 Kings 6:5-7).
Was Jesus a prophet? Did Jesus perform these three functions of prophets in the Bible? Jesus performed all the functions of a prophet. He was God’s representative on earth and spoke the Word of God to the people. His words were not His but He spoke what He heard from God. He said in John 7:16, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me” (New King James Version). In John 8:28, He also said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things” (New King James Version).
A prophet is not the author of what he says. He is a messenger. In John 12:49-50, Jesus said, “For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak” (New King James Version). Hear Jesus again in John 14:24: “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me” (New King James Version).
Jesus also performed the second function of a prophet. He foretold some events as He spoke for God, which came to pass. This included His suffering, crucifixion, and resurrection (Matthew 16:21; Matthew 26:2; John 2:18-22; Luke 22:63-65; Mark 15:26-27; Matthew 27:62-63; 28:6). Jesus also foretold His betrayal, desertion, and Peter’s denial of Him, and they all happened (Matthew 26:21-25; Luke 22:47-48; Matthew 26:31-32, 56; Matthew 26:33-35, 69-75). Jesus also foretold the coming of the Holy Spirit and it was fulfilled (Luke 24:49; John 15:26; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4).
Just as some Old Testament prophets performed miracles, Jesus did. No prophet before Him ever performed the number and magnitude of miracles that He did. They are too numerous to list. John 20:30 says Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in the book of John. Also, John 21:25 says, “And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written” (New King James Version).
If Jesus performed the functions of a prophet in the Bible, was He a prophet? Moses said in Deuteronomy 18:15-19, “The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, according to all you desired of the LORD your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.’ And the LORD said to me: ‘What they have spoken is good. I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him’” (New King James Version).
Although there were later many prophets in Israel in the Old Testament none fitted the description of the prophet Moses said would arise. Therefore, the Israelites kept expecting the prophet whom Moses foretold. That was why the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask John the Baptist who he was. In John 1:21, they asked him if he was Elijah, and when he said “no”, they asked, “Are you the Prophet?” and he answered, “No.” Note the phrase “Are you the prophet?” John said he wasn’t the prophet.
Was Jesus a prophet? When Jesus came on the scene, he went about His ministry, teaching, preaching, and healing. In John 7:40-41, the Bible says, “Therefore many from the crowd, when they heard this saying, said, ‘Truly this is the Prophet.’ Others said, ‘This is the Christ.’ But some said, ‘Will the Christ come out of Galilee?’” (New King James Version). You could see that the crowd referred to Jesus as the prophet. They were referring to the prophet Moses long foretold.
Earlier in John 6, after feeding 5,000 men miraculously and twelve baskets were filled with the fragments of the five barley loaves, the Bible says, “Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, ‘This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world’” (verse 14 New King James Version). These last two scriptures show that the people believed that Jesus was the prophet Moses foretold.
Was Jesus a prophet? Other passages of the Bible refer to Jesus as a prophet. “So the multitudes said, ‘This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee’” (Matthew 21:11 New King James Version). Luke 7:16 says, “Then fear came upon all, and they glorified God, saying, ‘A great prophet has risen up among us’; and, ‘God has visited His people’” (New King James Version). The Samaritan woman Jesus met at Sychar at the well of Jacob said, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet” (John 4:19 New King James Version).
Was Jesus a prophet? In Mark 6:4, Jesus compared Himself to a prophet, saying, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house” (New King James Version). Matthew 13:57 and John 4:44 record similar words by Jesus.
Speaking on the Day of Pentecost, Peter, in his sermon, confirmed that Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of Moses that God would raise a prophet like him (Acts 3:22-23, 26). Jesus was like Moses but He was superior to Moses. Moses was a type of Christ. They both spoke for God. Moses delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt; Christ delivered sinners from hell. Stephen also referred to the prophecy of Moses about a prophet like him whom God would raise up from among the Israelites (Acts 7:37)
Was Jesus a prophet? Jesus functioned as a prophet but He was more than a prophet. There was no prophet like Him. He was incomparable. He was the prophet! To call Jesus only a prophet is to focus on just one aspect of His ministry on earth. He was the Son of man but also the Son of God. Indeed, He is God. He is the Word. He is our High Priest. He is the King of kings. He is the Messiah – the Saviour of the world. Have you accepted Him as your Lord and Saviour?
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Thank You, Jesus, for being born as a man to die on the cross to save me. Holy Spirit, help me to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like Him in His death. I pray that every child of God will live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God. Those who have not accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour will come to Him this season in Jesus’ name.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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