December 5: The Prophet Like Moses

December 5  

The Prophet Like Moses

Reading: Deuteronomy 18:14-22  

Moses was unique among God’s prophets. The LORD would make himself known to his prophets in a vision or would speak to them in a dream. The message would often come in riddles that provoke deep reflection (Numbers 12:6-8). But the LORD spoke to Moses “face to face” and “mouth to mouth” (Exodus 33:11; Numbers 12:8).

As Moses neared the end of his life, the LORD promised to raise up for the people a prophet like Moses:

Deuteronomy 18:18 (ESV) — I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.

In the final chapter of Deuteronomy, Israel was still waiting:

Deuteronomy 34:10–11 (ESV) — And there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, 11 none like him for all the signs and the wonders that the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land,

Fast forward some 1500 years and we find priests and Levites questioning John the Baptist: “Are you the Prophet?” (John 1:21, 25). 

When Jesus fed the five thousand, they concluded, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!” (John 6:14). Again, when hearing his promise of the Spirit, some of the people said, “This really is the Prophet” (John 7:37-40).

Though he was in fact the one prophesied by Moses, the New Testament writers never simply call him a prophet, or even “the prophet.” Why? Because he was and is so much more than a prophet; he is God’s Son. As the author of Hebrews underscores:

Hebrews 1:1–4 (ESV) — 1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

We wait not for another prophet for the Son has come.

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