Jesus the Prophet

April 3, 2011

I’ve posted this on a couple other blogs I write on, but I wanted to put it up here for your consideration and because the content fits so well within the scope of this blog.  So, here it is…

In Deuteronomy 18:18-19 the Lord said something amazing to Moses: “I will raise up a prophet like you from them, from their fellow Israelites.  I will put my words in his mouth and he will speak to them whatever I command.  I will personally hold responsible anyone who then pays no attention to the words that prophet speaks in my name.”  What grounds for expectation, right?  What if you missed his coming?  What if you fail to pay attention to what he speaks?  I mean who wouldn’t be looking for this person?

It is no surprise then that one of the first questions the Jews put to John the Baptist is “Are you the Prophet?” (John 1:21).  Thousands of years after Moses and this prophecy is still in the front of their minds.

Not long after this Philip tells Nathanael, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the law, and the prophets also wrote about” (John 1:45).  Though Nathanael is incredulous over Jesus’ origin, he goes to see him nonetheless.  Upon meeting Jesus, “the one Moses wrote about”, we find Jesus speaking prophetically about Nathanael and what the disciples will experience and see in the future (John 1:47, 50-51).  And it is not the last of his prophecies in John either (John 4:44; 13:21).

In John Jesus is clearly displayed as the one who makes the Father know, who speaks by the Father’s authority what the Father has told him (John 12:49-50) and who is himself the Truth (John 14:6)

Jesus is the Prophet who not only speaks but also fully embodies God’s truth and makes the Father fully known.  This is Good News, because it tells me that we can stop looking for truth apart from him.  He is our teacher.  He is the one who tells us what is true and what is not.  He shows us the Father, sanctifies us by his truth (John 17:17) and has sent us the Spirit to lead us in to all Truth (John 16:13).  No longer must we search asking “What is truth?” (John 18:38). Now is the time to know him and to believe the truth he shows us and to worship him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).


Pentecost Acts 2:1-47

June 3, 2009

Again, just a type version of a recent study we did over here; this time over Acts 2 on Pentecost Sunday.

Four verses of action (Ac. 2:1-4) require a whole chapter of explaining.  Four verses of action filled with intriguing imagery and occurrence that have goaded many to wonder at the Old Testament connections of the event.  The feast of Pentecost is underway.  A time when the “firstfruits of the harvest” are brought in and celebrated (Dt. 16:9-11).  The sound of wind or spirit (what a wonderfully ambiguous word!) without presence of wind draws us back to the creation story (Gen 1:2, 2:7).  The tongues of fire remind us of YHWH’s leading of his people through the wilderness (Ex. 13:21).  The coming of the Spirit recalls Moses’ longing “that all the Lord’s people were prophets”  (Nu 11:29).  And the varying languages spoken in the tongues of “every nation under heaven” and their confusion are both reminiscent of the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11).

Frankly, its not surprising those who witnessed the event responded as they did.  Confusion: “How is this happening?” (Ac. 2:7).  Questioning: “What does this mean?” (2:12).  And skepticism, or even cynicism: “They’re drunk!” (2:13).

And so, amid such thoughts, Peter stands up to preach a three point sermon, each revolving around Old Testament quotations.  As I’ve studied the passage, it seems the theme of Peter’s message is stated in his first point/quotation: we are in the last days. Here’s how I see Peter’s message breaking down:

Point #1 Acts 2:14-21 – The Spirit is here (Jl. 2:28-32)–therefore, the last days have come, restoration is here and the firstfruits of the great harvest of God are already being brought in! (Note: Pentecost vs. the desolation of Joel 1-2:11)

Point #2 – Acts 2:22-32 – Death is already being defeated (Ps. 16:8-11) in Jesus’ body–therefore, Jesus is living proof that death and all his friends are already being condemned by the life that is already available in Jesus!

Point #3 – Acts 2:33-36 – Jesus is already reigning (Ps. 110:1)–therefore, how will you live, in these last days, when life is finally being restored?

The implications of the message are simple.  How will you reorient your life around the current reality Peter has just declared?  Will you live as if the end were not already so near?  Will you live in the death you have always known?  Will you choose slavery to the old masters?  Or, will you live these last days enjoying life under the great King?