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
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.
Who was this special Prophet that Moses referring to?
Someone has said that the best way to answer questions about scripture is to use scripture. We would find out from one of Peter’s Holy Spirit-inspired sermons 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 in the book of Acts that this prophecy from Deuteronomy was about Jesus Christ, the coming Messiah. Jesus would come first for the Jewish people, then afterwards reach out for the Gentiles in the rest of the world.
Jesus was 100% God and 100% man. During His life on earth, He set aside His divine nature and lived life as one of us, one of God’s creation, rather than as our Creator. As part of His 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.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 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 people about the coming kingdom of God, Jesus made 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 land to preach repentance to the city of Nineveh. Nineveh was an enemy of Israel, and rather than go preach to them as God had directed him, he ran the other way and escaped on a boat. Jonah ended up getting thrown overboard and was 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 will raise Him. (By saying this, Jesus implies that Jonah might have been dead in the fish, as well.)
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 Titus would completely tear down the Jewish Temple around four decades later, and it remains ruined 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 a charge of blasphemy, proclaiming Himself to be God. In fact, He was, and He is God. We know from this prophecy that Jesus will return one day on the clouds of heaven.
Jesus, the “Prophet like Moses”, is calling out to each one of us today. Will we listen to Him?
When we are ready for God, no matter what our circumstances are or what our the faults and failures have been, God is ready for us. If our spirits are willing, the goodness of the Lord, the Living Water, is right here 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