Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Jesus is Prophet

A prophet, throughout the Bible, is recognized as one speaking for God. Whether this prophet addressed past and present events or future events the prophets always showed the people what God was doing or saying or desiring to accomplish through these events. Oftentimes a prophet would tell of some future event and explain its significance in revealing God’s glory, but always they spoke for the Lord. They were God’s official, anointed, special spokesmen whom God chose to reveal things through. So the motto of a prophet could very well be, “Thus says the Lord,” since these were words that exemplified their mission and their ministry.

Prophets had an air of authority when they spoke, they were speaking for God. Jesus was the ultimate Prophet. He revealed great things through His teachings and boldly came and proclaimed all that the Lord sent Him to proclaim. What was special about Jesus in the role of prophet was the authority to which He appealed. The prophets would bring a message and their authority was “Thus says the Lord”. They substantiated their claims with an appeal to the authority of the Lord. The rabbis, trained religious teachers, came along and did not fill the role of prophet. They did not claim any special revelation from the Lord. They would often validate their claim, not with a reference to a revelation from God, but with an appeal to a previous teaching by a prominent rabbi. “We understand this text to mean this, as Rabbi So-and-So said”(“So-and-So” is a Hebrew name meaning “Son of Somebody”) Their appeal was to the authority of tradition and previous interpretation of the revealed word of God.

Jesus was different. When Jesus appeared He did not appeal to anything external to prove His authority. He did not appeal to rabbis or even appeal to the Lord in the same sense the prophets did. In fact, the Gospels record events where Jesus speaks “as one having authority”. Jesus oftentimes said “You have heard (referring to a traditional interpretation of God’s Word)…but I tell you (correcting the traditional understanding)”. He did not need to appeal to an external source for authority because He possessed all the authority in Heaven and on Earth. He spoke with authority because He was God in the flesh, creator of the universe. He had no need to appeal to man or tradition or any external source to validate His claims. He spoke as one with authority because He had authority.

And He still has authority. He speaks as one with authority today. Jesus does not request, He commands. He does not beg and plead, He beckons and calls. Jesus does not need to appeal to science, culture, or even man’s view of God, justice and what is right. His authority does not reside in something external, but rather in the fact that He is the co-eternal Son of God, God who created all and took on flesh. Jesus, just like the prophets of old, spoke for God. The key difference being that Jesus Christ Himself is God.