JESUS,  PROPHET  AND  MESSIAH

 

          Jesus was a typical Hebrew prophet in some respects, but He was also the unique Messiah of the Jewish faith.  Jesus greatly resembled His Old Testament predecessors in both message and ministry.  Prophetic messages were God’s word for the day, and prophetic ministries included the working of signs and wonders.  This is illustrated in the following tabulation.

 

JESUS  AS  PROPHET

 

Jesus called Himself a Prophet (Matthew 23:37).

          Moses spoke of “a Prophet like me” who was to come (Deut. 18:15).

 

Jesus spent forty days in the Wilderness (Matthew 4:1).

          Moses spent forty days on Mount Sinai (Exodus 34:28).

 

Jesus was a Man of Sorrows (Isaiah 53:3, John 11:35).

          Jeremiah was a “weeping prophet” (Jeremiah 9:1, Lamentations)

 

Jesus walked on water (Matthew 14:25).

          Moses, Elijah, and Elisha all parted water.

          Elisha made an iron axehead float (Ex. 14:21, 2 Kings 2:8,14, 6:6).

 

Jesus fed multitudes (Matthew 14:20,21, 15:38).

          Moses fed multitudes (Exodus 16:15).

          Elisha also (2 Kings 4:2-6,42-44).

 

Jesus healed lepers (Matthew 8:2).

          Elisha healed a leper (2 Kings 5:1-14).

 

Jesus sought to reform corrupt Temple practice (John 2:15).

          Amos and Jeremiah sought Temple reform (Amos 3:14, Jer. 7:11).

 

Jesus baptized with fire (Matthew 3:11, Acts 2:3).

          Elijah called down heavenly fire (1 Kings 18:38, 2 Kings 1:10,12).

 

Jesus foretold an abomination of desolations in the Temple (Matt. 24:15).

          Daniel originally told of the abomination (Daniel 11:31).

 

Jesus raised the dead (Luke 7:11-15, 8:54, John 11:43-44).

          Elijah and Elisha raised the dead (1 Kings 17:22, 2 Kings 4:36).

 

Jesus was killed (Matthew 27:35).

          Many prophets were killed (Hebrews 11:37).

 

Jesus spent three days in the tomb (Matthew 12:40).

          Jonah spent three days in the fish (Jonah 1:17).

 

Jesus was resurrected (Matthew 28:7).

          Enoch and Elijah were taken to heaven without dying

          (Genesis 5:24, 2 Kings 2:11).

 

          From another standpoint, Jesus was not just another prophet.  The following statements demonstrate that He was the unique Hebrew “Messiah” (Greek, “Christ”), the bearer of the ultimate revelation from God.

 

JESUS AS THE UNIQUE MESSIAH

 

The life of Jesus as Messiah was foretold in minute detail by earlier prophets.  The exact fulfillment of these prophecies is a validation and a proof of His divine origin.

 

The prophets had all prefaced their sermons with “Thus says the Lord,” but Jesus spoke on His own authority, “I say to you.”

 

Unlike the prophets, Jesus kept company with the outcasts of society: commoners, prostitutes, publicans, sinners, and foreigners.

 

Jesus was above Scripture.  He pointed out contradictions in the Old Testament and set one passage against another.  In showing how one Scripture contained more truth than another, He was teaching that content determines whether a word of Scripture is God’s commandment (“the word of God”) or not.

 

Unlike the prophets, Jesus said, “Follow Me” (Matthew 4:19).

 

Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I Am” (John 8:58).

 

Jesus said, “I am the Light of the World” (John 8:11).

 

Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, the Life” (John 14:6).

 

Jesus was “tempted...yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).

 

Jesus is God’s own provision for man’s salvation (Acts 4:12).

 

Jesus is God’s ultimate Word in the flesh (John 1:14, Hebrews 1:1-2).

 

Jesus said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).

 

                                                                                  Richard L. Atkins