Summary: Shows that Jesus is the Prophet of God, speaking God’s Word, and thus demands our response.
Jesus the Prophet: Advent 1
December 2nd, 2001
When most people hear the word prophet, they think of someone who tells the future, usually in a mystical sense. We tend to think of someone like Nostradamus, one of the most famous so-called prophets, who is claimed to have predicted many world events and is assumed to have made prophecies about things which have yet to happen. Thus, we think of prophets who speak of things that only pertain to the future; things which have yet to happen. These kinds of prophecy are exciting, because they promise to reveal to us things that have yet to come. Look at the popularity of horoscopes, which claim to be able through their vague wordings to tell you what your day will be like. People like the idea that they will have power over their day by reading their horoscope and anticipating what will happen. Perhaps the most annoying commercial on television today, besides the loud guy with all the question marks on his jacket, is the commercial from Mrs. Clio. This woman with the Jamaican accent claims to be able to tell you what will happen with your love life with astonishing accuracy, for only a small fortune in phone costs. So, when folks think of a prophet, they think of someone who tells the future, and their appeal goes back to the beginning of time as people have sought to look into what will happen by casting lots, cutting open chickens, or consulting the Lucky Eight Ball.
In a biblical sense, there are indeed prophets who fit this mold in the sense that they tell about things that are going to happen. Much of Isaiah is prophecy which looked forward to the coming of Christ, especially Isaiah 53. Verse 5 of the 53rd chapter is clearly a prophecy about Jesus: "But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed." These verses are clearly about the life and horrible death of Jesus which would bring about salvation to those who believe. The prophet Micah also spoke of the future coming of Christ: he says in Micah 5:2, "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times," speaking of Christ’s birth in the little town of Bethlehem. Even King David played the role of prophet at times. He wrote Psalm 22 which foretells Jesus’ crucifixion in chilling detail, telling about Jesus’ feelings of being forsaken, the insults that were hurled at him, the wounds in his hands and feet, and even the fact that the Roman guards divided his garments between them. Although it was hard for those who study scripture to accurately read the prophecies concerning Jesus, we can look back in hindsight and see that his birth, life, death, and resurrection were all foretold in prophecy. In fact, I remember when I was not even a Christian I heard about a Christian rock group called Stryper. Naturally I was curious about their strange name so I looked into it and found that they were referring to the scripture in Isaiah which foretold that we would be healed by the stripes on Jesus back, a result of his crucifixion. It simply knocked me over that so many of the details of Jesus’ life were foretold in advance. I realized that the testimony of Jesus was true, since it was foretold from long ago. The prophecies concerning Jesus are clear enough that it is obvious that God wanted us to know that this was what he had in mind when it came to saving us.