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Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled By Jesus Christ

Chapter Two

Christ, The Greatest Prophet

Prophecy - Deuteronomy 18:15-18
Fulfillment - Acts 3:22

Approximately fifteen hundred years before the birth of Christ, Moses prophesied of a Divine Prophet. That Prophet would be of the Jewish lineage and he would speak the truth of God. The New Testament passage cited above reveals that He was God’s Son, Jesus Christ. Thus our Lord and Saviour was the Prophet of whom Moses wrote. As the third chapter of Acts begins, Peter and John had gone to the Temple to pray. Before they entered, they encountered a lame man who was healed through the name of Jesus. It was an amazing and miraculous event. When interested people gathered, Peter seized the opportunity to preach Jesus. He reminded them of the crucifixion of Christ. Pilate apparently wanted to release Jesus but the Jewish mob insisted that He be crucified. Peter acknowledged that their actions were the result of ignorance but he also reminded them of their need for repentance. Then, in verse twenty-two Peter called their attention to the prophecy of Moses, proclaiming Jesus to be the Divine Prophet. In light of Acts, chapter three, there can be no doubt that Jesus did fulfill the ancient prophecy of Deuteronomy 18:15. Peter wanted the people to understand that the Prophet for Whom they waited, had already come and was his Lord and Savior.

The Jews apparently understood that the “Prophet” of whom Moses wrote, would not be a mere mortal. They had many mortal prophets, the first being Samuel (Acts 3: 24). The final seventeen books of the Old Testament were all written by prophets. They were special representatives of God inasmuch as they carried His Word to His people. Some of those prophets have been esteemed as “major prophets” while others were considered “minor prophets.” Of course, these are the appointments of men, not God. No doubt, in God’s sight they were equally important. Yet, as important as they were, an even greater Prophet came to speak the Word of God.

It is interesting to note the frequency of references to this special Prophet. Obviously, you do not repeatedly call attention to a person about whom no one is interested. Hopefully, today as then, many still want to learn more about Him; therefore, we will focus our attention on some pertinent references to God’s special Prophet.

In the Gospel of John, chapter four, we are told that a Samaritan woman went to Jacob’s well to draw water and there she encountered Jesus. He spoke to her about “living waters” and in the course of their conversation Jesus revealed that He knew more about her past than she had imagined. He reminded her that she had been previously married to five husbands and the man with whom she was living was not her husband. “The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet” (John 4:19).

In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter sixteen, Jesus asked His disciples about the varied opinions of men regarding His identity. “And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets” (Matthew 16:14). Some thought He could be John the Baptist, who though beheaded by Herod, had come back to life. Others supposed that He might be the Prophet Jeremias (Aramaic for Jeremiah) whom some apparently expected to return. Others just believed He was a prophet.

While these accounts speak of Christ as a prophet, there were occasions which seem to have reference to that special Prophet of Whom Moses wrote.

In the Gospel of Luke, chapter seven, a widow’s only son had died and as the funeral procession passed by, Jesus stopped them. He said to the deceased man, “Young man, I say unto thee, Arise” (Luke 7:14). He was instantly restored to life and the bitter tears of his mother were turned into tears of joy. The following words were written of those who witnessed that wonderful event; “And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people” (Luke 7:16). Notice this fact, they perceived that God had come to visit in the person of a great Prophet.

In the Gospel of John, chapter 6, the miracle of the feeding of five-thousand (plus women and children) is recorded. Jesus took a boy’s lunch of five barley loaves and two small fish, then multiplying them He fed the enormous crowd with food to spare. Listen to the testimony of those who were the recipients of that miracle. “Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world” (John 6:14).

Again, in the Gospel of John, chapter seven, we find another reference to Jesus as the “Prophet.” He had spoken to them about the Holy Spirit and living waters. He said “. . . the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified. Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet” (John 7:39-40). Those who listened to His words were so amazed they concluded He was the Prophet (not just a prophet).

But it is also interesting to realize that Jesus spoke of Himself as a prophet. He said, “Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem” (Luke 13:33). Here is indisputable evidence that He is the “Prophet” of Whom Moses wrote. Simply put; Jesus was no mere man, He was Divine and by His own admission, He was a prophet. As the Divine Prophet, Jesus was the greatest Prophet to ever live.

Having Biblically established that Jesus is the Prophet of Whom Moses spoke, we must then ask the question, “Why was He considered a prophet?” There must be a reason that God inspired Moses to describe Him that way. Keeping in mind that there are quite a few scriptures that refer to Him as a “prophet,” we will now consider some possibilities and reasons for this title.

First of all, we need to recognize that some of God’s prophets were connected to feats of miraculous power. I Kings, chapter seventeen, records an example of such a remarkable event. God’s prophet Elijah asked a poor widow to bring him some bread. Times were so difficult and food was so scarce that she was gathering sticks to cook one last meal for her son and herself. It took a great deal of faith to grant the prophet’s request and prepare him a cake of bread “first.” Some may misunderstand his request, viewing it as a selfish act; but he knew the power of God was at work in their lives. When the widow gave, she was also blessed. God caused her handful of meal and the little oil in the cruse to last until the famine was over. Clearly, the power of God was at work in the prophet’s life.

There was another miraculous event recorded in Isaiah, chapter thirty-eight. King Hezekiah was seriously ill and upon his death bed. God sent Isaiah to tell him to get his house in order for he would soon die. Hezekiah prayed earnestly to God and the prayer was answered almost immediately. God sent Isaiah back with the message that Hezekiah would live an additional fifteen years. God added the years, the prophet was just a messenger; yet even today, we marvel at the power of God at work in the prophet’s life.

On yet another occasion, recorded in II Kings, chapter four, a son was given to a barren couple who often befriended God’s servant Elisha. One day, when the boy was old enough to go to the field with his father, he became seriously ill. The father carried him to his mother and the boy died sitting in her lap. They sent for Elisha and when he arrived, he laid upon the dead body and prayed to God. The boy sneezed and life returned. The prophet returned the boy to his parents. What a special blessing God gave through His prophet!

All those miracles were the result of God’s great power. The prophets could not have performed them on their own. As God blessed, they gained recognition and God’s power was seen at work in their lives. All those miracles pointed toward the coming of the Prophet Jesus. When He came to this earth as a man, His sovereign power was witnessed time and time again. No doubt, He was that “Prophet” Who was to come.

The second attribute of prophets to be considered, was their devotion to God. Seventeen times the Old Testament refers to prophets as “servants” of God. An example is II Kings 21:10 “And the LORD spake by his servants the prophets, saying,”. God not only spoke to His prophets but He also spoke to His people through them. They were to do the will of God in an unselfish way, speaking God’s Word even if they suffered for doing so. Therefore, most prophets were considered true and faithful servants of God.

When Jesus walked among men, He too was a “Servant” to His heavenly Father. He said, “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me” (John 6:38). The Father sent Christ to save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21) and our salvation was accomplished through His sacrificial death and shed blood. He said, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matthew 26:39). Truly Jesus was an obedient servant of God both as His Son and Prophet. As a faithful servant, He could appropriately be called the “Prophet” of God.

The third and final similarity between Christ and the prophets involves His words as well as His works. God said to the prophet Ezekiel, “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me” (Ezekiel 3:17). As a prophet he was to declare the message God sent to His people. Prophets were sent to carry God’s message, not their own words.

When God called Samuel as a child, it was to be a prophet. God wanted Samuel to carry a message to Eli. I Samuel 3:18 says, “And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him. And he said, It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good.” Eli understood that Samuel spoke God’s Word and therefore was submissive to His will.

Jesus also spoke for God, for He is God (John 1:1). When men listened to Jesus, they understood that He was no mere man. Once when soldiers were sent to arrest Jesus, they returned without Him. Upon being questioned as to why they did not bring Him, “The officers answered, Never man spake like this man” (John 7:46). Indeed! Who could possibly compare to Jesus?

He was sent by His Father to manifest both the work and words of God. On the mount of Transfiguration, our heavenly Father said, “. . . This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him” (Matthew 17:5). God had spoken through His prophets, but Jesus was God speaking directly to men. He is the “Prophet” Who was to come and His words are the Word of God. Thank God, He came as prophesied, and because of His words our lives will never be the same.

God has spoken to us by His Son (Hebrews 1:2) and as we read His words let us give them the respect they deserve. Let us take His words to heart and obey them. May we also give glory to Christ as our Saviour and Prophet.

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This page last updated on November 1, 2015