Deleted Scenes from Christmas Grace: “Jesus: A Prophet Like Moses”

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The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me [Moses] from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him . . . The Lord said to me [Moses]: “. . . I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him. I myself will call to account anyone who does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name.”

Deuteronomy 18:15,17-19 NIV (additions mine)

One of the most obscure Old Testament prophecies concerning the coming Messiah King came from the lips of Moses near the end of his life. The final chapters of Deuteronomy represent Moses’ parting instructions to the Israelites as they prepared to enter and occupy the land of promise without him.

In the middle of those instructions, Moses pauses to prophesy. First, speaking for himself, he tells the nation that God will one day raise up, out of their midst, another prophet—one “like me,” Moses says. Then he repeats this prediction as a word from the Lord. This future Moses 2.0 prophet will speak everything God tells Him to say. God follows this with a warning: Those in Israel who do not heed the words of this future prophet, will answer directly to God. 

So, who fulfilled this prophecy? Who was this second prophet like Moses? Was it Samuel? Elijah? Isaiah, perhaps? Fortunately, we don’t have to speculate about that. The Word of God tells us plainly. 

In the third chapter of Acts, the Apostle Peter, freshly baptized in the Holy Spirit, preaches a sermon in the outer court of the Temple to the crowd that gathered to marvel at the miracle of the lame man who Peter and John healed in Jesus’ name. In verses 22 and 23, Peter explicitly states that Jesus was that promised prophet, like Moses. 

Most believers understand that Jesus became our High Priest and that He is our reigning King. But few Christians understand or even recognize the prophetic ministry of Jesus. Matthew 4:17 tells us that Jesus picked up John the Baptist’s prophetic mantle and message: “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand!” For three years He crisscrossed Israel visiting “. . . all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom.” (Matthew 9:35 NIV)

Those among his countrymen who heeded His message had hearts prepared for the New Covenant message when it arrived on the Day of Pentecost. Those who rejected it suffered the imminent judgment of which both John and Jesus had repeatedly warned—just as Moses had foreseen. 

Before Jesus began His priestly mission in the final weeks of his life, He carried out a vital prophetic mission—one foreseen by Moses. That means that child of promise in Mary’s arms is not only destined to be our priest and king, but a prophet, too. 

Prayer of Declaration

Jesus, as a prophet to Israel, You spoke everything God told You to say, just as Moses prophesied. Your Holy Spirit, the One you promised and sent, carries on today, speaking to me everything You want me to know. Your Spirit leads me into all truth and shows me things to come. 

Want more insight like this? Get my devotional Christmas Grace: 31 Meditations and Declarations on the Greatest Gift Ever Given.