A Prophet For The Proud Or A Saviour For The Fallen?

We are all followers of many things, from fashion, to hobbies, to family interests, to more serious things. Beyond politicians many follow religious leaders, some who claimed to speak from God. To such the leader became a Prophet, held in high reverence, while others became aware of deep failings in their lives and longed to find peace with God. They saw that they needed to find God and be forgiven and rescued from condemnation. They needed a Saviour. Is this simply a case of you follow who most appeals to you, or are there deeper issues to consider?

 

  • LISTEN

The Bible makes clear that many false prophets would arise (see Matthew 24:11). Often they have striking, even mesmerising personalities that captivate people. But their prophecies fail. 

Compared with them, Moses was one of the genuine prophets raised up by God, who turned his back on the vast splendour of Egypt to lead an enslaved people out into a freedom given by God in his great mercy. Moses also made a striking prophecy, ‘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). Later prophets also spoke about that unique prophet, and one used the most exalted words, saying ‘his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace’ (Isaiah 9:6).

 

  • LAID

But there is a another theme that the one who was so high and exalted would come down, and like a good shepherd, would search for his lost sheep, and even give his life to save them, ‘All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned-every one-to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all’ (Isaiah 53:6). This action of God’s exalted Servant bearing the judgement of others, in order to rescue them is clear, ‘But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace’ (Isaiah 53:5). 

From these words we see that the role of a prophet was to reveal God’s word, to challenge people in the present and to share God’s purpose far into the future. One of these prophecies even gives the place of birth of the one who would come from on high, ‘But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old’ (Micah 5:2). This ruler’s great work is not like an ordinary king but is world-wide, ‘he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth. And he shall be their peace’ (Micah 5:4-5).

 

  • LOVING

When all these prophecies are pieced together there is only one person who fits all the many amazing details. For now we have the full record of God’s revelation, which makes clear, ‘But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ… And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and to you who were near; (Ephesians 2:13,14 and 17). 

Even before Jesus’ birth, an angel announced that, ‘you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins’ (Matthew 1:21). Isn’t that so clear that the great need of people was to receive God’s great loving kindness in the forgiveness of sins? For all people, no matter how religious they are, have broken God’s commandments. So pride in their religious efforts would only blind them to their need of a personal Saviour.

One of the ways Jesus reminded people that he was the great Request prophetic word to be listened to, whom Moses had predicted, was to say ‘He who has ears to hear, let him hear’ (Mark 4:9). What a challenge – all too often we are listening to our own thoughts! But when we see the full person of Jesus we see that he alone combines the three great roles in himself of Prophet, Priest and King.

 

  • LORD

As Prophet, he spoke God’s final word of good news for this world. As Priest, he offered up himself in his sinless body on the cross as one sacrifice for sins for ever, and as King, following his death, resurrection and ascension, Jesus reigns as eternal Lord, on the throne with God his eternal Father. 

Now, we are clear that religious pride will never gain us God’s approval – that is the way that will only lead to despair and destruction. Rather, by accepting that we have all fallen far short of God’s standard, we are called to turn from our false and confused way and find an all-sufficient personal Saviour in the Lord Jesus as we trust in him alone to give us peace with God and a welcome into God’s own family.

Will you come today?

ANSWERS – FOR A SEARCHING GENERATION

Hello – I’ve written several books and many articles – with the goal of showing that biblical Christianity answers the MOST VITAL questions of all – “Who am I?” “What does it mean?” “Has it gone wrong?” “Why JESUS – & why is HE so vital?” and “Who is God and what is he like?”

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