Prophets are people who speak on behalf of others. In the Bible, God uses human messengers to communicate with humanity. It is as if the one true God himself was speaking through a prophet.
Many Old Testament lines begin with “the word of the Lord came to,” implying that the message was sent directly from the One God to the prophets rather than the other way around. Some scriptures to look at include 2 Kings 20:4, 2 Samuel 7:4, Ezekiel 3:16, Jeremiah 1:4, and the prologues to the books of Joel, Jonah, Hosea, Micah, and Zephaniah.
Jesus taught a divine message, but he never claimed it as his own: “My teaching is not my own.” John 7:16 says, “This commandment I received from my Father.”
Jesus Christ often alluded to himself as a divine messenger God had sent. But does that make him a prophet?
Was Jesus A Prophet?
Like the revelation of heaven that God gave Moses, which served as a model for the Tabernacle (Exodus 25:9, 40), God also gave him a vision of the prophet leading Israel on a second exodus. Meanwhile, the New Testament emphasizes Jesus’ status as the greatest among all the prophets or a representative sent to Earth by the Lord God.
Jesus clearly presented himself to his followers as one sent by the Almighty, that is, as a messenger of God, during his whole ministry. His role as God’s messenger was established long before his birth, as described in the New Testament and the Holy Quran.
His prophetic journey on earth began when an angel visited Mary, who revealed that she would give birth to the Son of God. She would name him Jesus, and he would succeed to the throne of David and become the ruler of the house of Jacob (Luke 1:32–33) as the King of the Jews.
One of the other things that a true prophet does in the Bible is what most people think of when they hear the word prophecy: they make predictions about the future based on what they’ve learned from God. Although it is not their primary duty, prophets also have a part to play in foretelling the future. Prophetic statements were not uncommon to be included in the discourse when representing God.
When asked about his future, Jesus informed his disciples “that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things—from elders, chief priests, and teachers of the law—that he will be killed, and on the third day will be raised from the dead” (Matthew 16:21). All four Gospels (Matthew 27:27; Mark 15:27; Luke 22:24; and John 18:20) attest to the fact that this prophecy was realized.
In addition, Jesus said his disciples would be given power and authority at the coming of the Holy Ghost following his ascension (Acts 1:8). The prophecy is shown to have been fulfilled in Acts 2, when the apostles, having received the Holy Spirit, proclaimed the gospel in at least fifteen different languages spoken by those in attendance at Pentecost in Jerusalem.
How Is Jesus A Messiah And A Prophet?
Jesus wasn’t only a prophet; he was also the Messiah. Jesus’ miraculous resurrection and other feats of power proved him to be the anointed one. In a strict sense, the Jewish people expected the Messiah to save them. The Messiah was sent to die to redeem mankind, Jews and Gentiles alike, from the consequences of sin and the punishment of hell.
However, he is not limited to the role of a prophet. He is the Word of God (John 1:1), and the Bible says he is the only one who can save mankind (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). Jesus came as a Shepherd to save his lost sheep and lead them to eternal glory in heaven. More than a prophet, this declaration establishes Jesus as the promised one.
According to the Old Testament, the Messiah would take on the role of a unique prophet. He would be the one to speak what God says uniquely. The gospels emphasize that Jesus was the promised prophet.
Prophets were often called upon to perform miracles and healings. As one of his wonders, Moses split the Red Sea (Exodus 14:21–22). He achieved a miracle when Elijah ordered the heavens to open and consume a sacrifice (1 Kings 18:36–38). The axe head floated in the water because of a miracle performed by Elisha (2 Kings 6:6). The New Testament’s four gospels agree that Jesus performed numerous miracles and healings as a prophet.
In their own ways, progressive academics, Muslim religious leaders, and evangelical Christians acknowledge this reality. Therefore, what differentiates him from other prophets? If you take the New Testament at its word and believe that Jesus is God in the flesh and the only route to God (everlasting life), then Jesus’ status as a prophet is quite distinct from those who follow other religions since he is also the Savior of mankind.
Jesus’ Prophetic Teachings And Miracles
Many credible witnesses attest to the fact that Jesus was a prophet. One Samaritan woman stated that Jesus had intimate knowledge of her. Because of this, she decided he must be a prophet.
The blind man Jesus healed came to the same conclusion: that Jesus must be the prophet of the only true God. Jesus confirmed his prophetic position with his own words. The multitudes who witnessed Jesus’ miracles reportedly questioned whether he might be the prophet Moses prophesied.
After Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension, Simon Peter addressed the crowds and declared that Jesus was the prophet Moses foretold. Meanwhile, the martyr Stephen affirmed this only a short time afterward. Thus, the New Testament as a whole testifies that Jesus was a prophet of God, the unique prophet foretold by Moses.
How Does Jesus’ Prophetic Role Differ From Other Prophets In The Bible?
Like the way Israel walked with Moses across the Red Sea and was baptized in his name (1 Corinthians 10:2), Jesus is a prophet who asks us to walk with him from death to life. His redemption isn’t just a signpost to someone else; it’s a signpost to himself, making him bigger than Moses. Even though many have rejected Jesus’ claim that “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), his words continue to provide life to those who would listen (Eph. 2:17).
Jesus saved his people from death so that his law might be written in their hearts, just as Moses saved the people of the Promised Land from Egypt so that they could hear God’s Word at Sinai. In reality, no other prophet compares to him. Even if there are many other prophets out there, we must prioritize listening to him because of this.
Therefore, Jesus’ prophetic status is unmistakably established in the New Testament. God had chosen him to deliver a message to humanity. Jesus, however, was unlike any previous prophet, both before and after him, since he was God in human form.
The author of Hebrews put it this way: “In the distant past, God spoke to the fathers by the prophets at various times and in various ways.” He has spoken to us in these latter days via his Son, whom he has named heir to all things and through whom he created the universe (Hebrews 1:1–2 HCSB).
Why Is Jesus’ Role As A Prophet Important In Christianity?
This is the good news for today: the words of prophecy spoken by Jesus lead to pardon, redemption, and eternal life. His teachings represent the culmination of God’s revelation to humanity, something we must listen to (Hebrews 1:1–2:4). Jesus, however, goes beyond merely revealing God’s revelations as a prophet. His message of grace surpasses Moses’s because Jesus is God incarnate (1:1–5) and the Word made flesh (1:14).
That’s why it’s important while thinking about Jesus’ prophetic role, to analyze how the Bible as a whole portrays him as a prophet like Moses. This is how we learn about the depictions of Christ as a prophet. Christ’s voice as the incarnate Lord is the only way to truly know who he is and how his words provide life.
Many people now consider Jesus a prophet, and He was. Unfortunately, many people, such as Muslims, limit him to this function. They view Jesus as a wonderful prophet but not the Savior. Jesus Christ is more than just a prophet. According to Hebrews 2:17, “He is the propitiation for our sin.” Jesus is both a prophet and the one who brought the prophecy to fruition in Deuteronomy 18:18.
Jesus’ words in his prophetic ministry provide forgiveness, salvation, and everlasting life in heaven. His teachings represent the culmination of God’s revelation to humanity and hence demand our attention (Hebrews 1:1–2:4).