[Moses said:] “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him.
“The LORD said to me:…’I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account.’” (Deuteronomy 18:15, 17-19, NIV)
In Moses’ day, the nations around Israel used all kinds of magic and superstitious practices to learn the will of the gods. God forbade such sorcery in Israel. He chose to make His will known through His prophets. And unlike the mysterious messages of pagan soothsayers and mediums, God’s words would be clear and understandable.
In the passage above, God is promising to raise up a succession of prophets who would faithfully speak His will to His people. We read the revelations of many of those prophets in our Old Testament. But when the prophets quit coming, the hopes aroused by Deuteronomy 18 began to focus on one Prophet, One who would come and fully reveal all God’s will for His people: Messiah Himself.
During Jesus’ earthly ministry, many saw Him as this promised Prophet:
Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” (John 1:45, NASB)
When the people saw the sign which [Jesus] had performed (the feeding of the five thousand), they said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.” (John 6:14, NASB)
Some of the people therefore, when they heard [Jesus’] words, were saying, “This certainly is the Prophet.” (John 7:40, NASB)
Peter, in speaking to the Jews about the One they had crucified, said:
“Now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ would suffer…For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you…’ Indeed, all the prophets from Samuel on, as many as have spoken, have foretold these days.” (Acts 3:17-18, 22, 24, NIV)
Jesus told those questioning His authority,
“If you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me.” (John 5:46, NASB)
And on the evening after His resurrection, Jesus conversed with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, and “beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures” (Luke 24:27, NASB).
As the centuries progressed, God’s prophets were distilled into God’s Prophet, and God’s words became God’s Word, Jesus Christ.
In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. (Hebrews 1:1-3, NIV)
Your power, Your wisdom, and Your love
have said all they have to say
in Jesus Christ.
Help me to listen.