A Prophet Like Moses – Deuteronomy 18

As the Israelites prepared to enter the Promised land without Moses, he prophesied that God planned to raise up a future Prophet like him from among their Jewish brethren.

15 “The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear…17 “And the Lord said to me: ‘What they have spoken is good. 18 I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. 19 And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.   Deuteronomy 18:15,17-19 (NKJV)

Who was this special Prophet that Moses was referring to?

It is often said that the best way to answer questions about scripture is to use other verses in scripture.  We find out from Peter’s Holy Spirit-inspired sermon at Pentecost in the book of Acts that the “Prophet like Moses” refers to Jesus Christ.

19 Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, 20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, 21 whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago. 22 Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you.’  Acts 3:19-22 (ESV)

God revealed through the words of Peter that this prophecy from Moses in Deuteronomy was about Christ, the coming Messiah.  Jesus would come first to the Jewish people, then afterwards, reach out for the Gentiles in the rest of the world. He will one day return to establish His kingdom on earth, replacing all the great empires of history, once and for all.

Jesus was 100% God and 100% man.  During His life on earth, He set aside His divine nature and lived His life as one of us rather than in the nature of the Creator, though this was revealed through His countless acts of miraculous healing. As part of Jesus’ three-year ministry, He preached the kingdom of God as a Prophet to the people.  Jesus gave out the word of God and was, in fact, the living Word of God. As the apostle John began his gospel:

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.  John 1:1-3 (ESV)

In addition to teaching the people about the coming kingdom of God, Jesus shared several prophesies about Himself to His disciples.  Three of these were:

1) Jesus foretold of His death and resurrection, comparing it to the Prophet Jonah. Jonah spent three days in the belly of a fish before being spit up onto the land to preach repentance to the city of Nineveh, an enemy of Israel. Jonah had run the other way and escaped on a boat rather than go preach to them as God had directed him, but ended up getting thrown overboard and swallowed by a large fish.  Jesus compared Jonah’s three days in the fish’s belly to Jesus’ impending time of being dead in the tomb before the Father raised Him up. By saying this, Jesus also implies that Jonah might have been dead in the fish and returned to life, as Jesus would later raise Lazarus.

2) Jesus predicted His own death and resurrection by saying, “tear down this temple, and I will rebuild it in 3 days.”  Everybody thought He was talking about the large Jewish Temple, but He was talking about His body, the temple of the Holy Spirit.  The Roman general Titus would completely tear down the Jewish Temple around four decades after Jesus, and it remains in that state to this day.

3) Jesus prophesied about Himself that “you will See the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven.”  This quotes a prophecy from Daniel 7 about the Messiah coming from heaven during the end times.  Like the previous prophecy, this reference was used by the Pharisees to condemn Jesus for crucifixion under the charge of blasphemy, proclaiming Himself to be God.  In fact, He was and is God. We know from this and other prophecy that Jesus will return one day on the clouds of heaven to establish His throne, the throne of David, in Jerusalem.

Jesus, the “Prophet like Moses”, is calling still out to each one of us today.  Are we listening?


When we are ready for God, God is ready for us, no matter our circumstances, faults, or failures. If our spirit is willing the Lord in His goodness is right here and now for the taking. 

23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”  John 4:23-24 (ESV)

Father God, we are ready to worship You through our daily living, having been cleansed by faith in the offering of Jesus on the cross and His resurrection from the dead. Teach us and guide us as we seek to listen and learn from our great Prophet and God, Jesus Christ. We ask this in the name of Jesus, Amen.

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