15 The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen—“ (Deuteronomy 18:15)
Not only was the Messiah to be from the seed of a woman, the seed of Abraham, the tribe of Judah, the family of David, to be born in Bethlehem, but also the Jewish Messiah was to have a threefold mission: He was to be the Prophet, a Priest and a King. Today, we will look at the prophecy concerning the Messiah’s role and ministry as The Prophet.
To begin with, the Messiah was to fulfill the prophecy spoken by God to Moses in Deuteronomy 18 concerning a God ordained Prophet. The Messiah would be a herald of God’s truth just like Moses. He would disclose God’s revelation to God’s people.
Deuteronomy 18:15-19 says, “15 The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen— 16 just as you desired of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.’ 17 And the Lord said to me, ‘They are right in what they have spoken. 18 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. 19 And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him.
From this text, we make the following observations concerning the ministry of this Prophet. First, God will raise Him up for the people of God. Two, He would be like Moses. Three, He will be Jewish or from your brothers. Fourth, the people are to listen to Him. Fifth, God will put His words in the Prophets mouth. Sixth, the Prophet will be obedient to God. Seventh, people who refuse to listen to the Prophet will be judged.
This text from Deuteronomy lends an underlying context to what the Apostle John records in John 7:40-42 concerning the people’s reaction and response to the identity of Jesus Christ. The texts says, “Therefore many from the crowd…said, Truly, this is the Prophet. Others said, this is the Christ! But some said, Will the Christ come out of Galilee? Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?”
It is obvious that some people actually thought and speculated that Jesus Christ might be the fulfillment of Deuteronomy 18. Aside from John’s Gospel, does the New Testament affirm that Jesus was the Prophet spoken of by Moses in Deuteronomy 18?
Acts 3:23-26 says, “22 Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brethren; to Him you shall give heed to everything He says to you.
23 And it will be that every soul that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’24 And likewise, all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and his successors onward, also announced these days. 25 It is you who are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ 26 For you first, God raised up His Servant and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways.”
The Apostle Peter, who is the one speaking in Acts 3, clearly identified Jesus Christ (His Servant) as the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy of God’s Messianic Prophet.
Dr. John MacArthur, in commenting on Deuteronomy 18, explains that, “The singular pronoun emphasizes the ultimate Prophet who was to come. Both the OT (Deuteronomy 34:10) and the NT (Acts 3:22–23; 7:37) interpret this passage as a reference to the coming Messiah, who like Moses would receive and preach divine revelation and lead his people (cf. John 1:21, 25, 43–45; 6:14; 7:40).”
I encourage you to study further the following verses related to Jesus Christ being the Prophet of God.
- Foretold. De 18:15, 18; Isa 52:7; Na 1:15.
- Anointed with the Holy Spirit. Isa 42:1; 61:1; Lu 4:18; Joh 3:34.
- Alone knows and reveals God. Mt 11:27; Joh 3:2, 13, 34; 17:6, 14, 26; Heb 1:1, 2.
- Declared his doctrine to be that of the Father. John 8:26, 28; 12:49, 50; 14:10, 24; 15:15; 17:8, 16.
- Preached the gospel, and worked miracles. Matt 4:23; 11:5; Lu 4:43.
- Foretold things to come. Matt. 24:3–35; Luke 19:41, 44.
- Faithful to his trust. Lu 4:43; John 17:8; Heb. 3:2; Rev. 1:5; 3:14.
- Abounded in wisdom. Luke 2:40, 47, 52; Col. 2:3.
- Mighty in deed and word. Matt. 13:54; Mark 1:27; Lu 4:32; John 7:46.
- Meek and un-ostentatious in his teaching. Isaiah 42:2; Mt 12:17–20.
- God commands us to hear. Deut. 18:15; Matt. 17:25; Acts 3:22; 7:37.
- God will severely visit our neglect of. Deut. 18:19; Ac 3:23; Heb. 2:3.
- Typified by Moses. Deut. 18:15.
Both the Old and the New Testament clearly affirms that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of Deuteronomy 18 and is therefore The Prophet.
May the Lord’s truth and grace be found here.
Soli deo Gloria!