By Henry Mahan
Deuteronomy 18:18-22; John 4:25-26
1. It is the clear teaching of the word of God that our Lord Jesus Christ has a three-fold office--prophet, priest, and king.
While others, as types of Christ, have held one (or maybe two) of these offices, no one has ever been prophet, priest, and king except Christ.
How good and gracious is the Lord to send among us so great a prophet as 'the Son of God, Emmanuel, God with us' (Matt. 1:23; Matt. 17:5).
What a prophet he is--coming from heaven, above all, having the spirit without measure, fulfilling what others only talked about, declaring the whole counsel of God, and bringing life and immortality to light through his gospel (John 3:31-35; 2 Tim. 1:8-10).
We see the absolute necessity of such a prophet, without whom we would sit in darkness and be left to stumble in blindness (2 Cor. 4:3-6). But his words are true and faithful, and to hear him is to hear God (John 12:48-50; Heb. 1:1-2).
How blessed are those who hear and believe him (John 5:24), and how inexcusable will be those who refuse to hear him (John 3:18). He is the one great prophet, of whom Moses was but a type (Heb. 3:3-6). He is the one great eternal High Priest, of whom Aaron was but a type (Heb. 7:21-25). He is the one great king of kings, of whom David was but a type (Luke 1:30- 33).
2. The promise declares that the Lord thy God will raise up this one great prophet! (v. 18)
All of the true prophets and faithful priests were ordained and sent of God, for no man takes these offices of himself (Heb. 5:4- 5). But this promise is of one person--one prophet who is the Messiah and is actually the Word of God himself (John 1:1-4, 14). He that hath seen him hath seen the Father (John 14:9), and he that hath heard him hath heard the Father (John 3: 33- 36).
The promise declares that God would raise up this prophet 'from the midst of thee; of thy brethren.' He is of Israel, according to the flesh, of the tribe of Judah and the household of David (Rom. 1:1-3; Rom. 9:4-5; Matt. 1:1). He was 'like unto Moses' in that he is a man, he is God's prophet, he is a mediator between God and the people, he performed great miracles, and he delivered his people from bondage. But he is infinitely superior to Moses and to all the other prophets, for he is the Son of God! (Heb. 3:1-4; Heb. 1:8.)
God declares, 'I will put my words in his mouth' (John 7:16; John 8:28; John 17:6-8). His words are the words of life, not just true facts concerning God and the kingdom of heaven; but he speaks and men live spiritually (John 5: 21, 24; James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23), even as he spoke and Lazarus came forth. His words are the words of truth (John 1:14-17: John 14:6; John 18:37). His words are the words of grace. He is full of grace and truth. His words bring peace, pardon, life, and salvation from sin. That Prophet came not to condemn the world, for the world stood condemned; but he came that we might have life more abundantly. He is the gospel (the good news), and he came bringing the gospel. If any man hear his words and believe on him, he shall never die (John 8:51; John 14:23-24). The gospel is actually 'the power of God unto salvation' (Rom. 1:16). One cannot separate the Saviour and his word, for he is the word.
No one can call on him who does not believe him, and no one can believe him who has not heard him (John 5:24; John 20:31). 3. There is also a promise given to those who refuse to hear that prophet--the promise of judgment! (v. 19)
All who will not hearken to the gospel spoken by Christ, in the name of the Father who sent him, will feel the wrath and judgment of God. To despise the words of Christ is to despise Christ, and to despise Christ is to deny and despise the Father.
There is no remedy for rebellion against the Redeemer (John 3:35-36).
We may also note the following points:
(1) All other prophets were inspired by Christ and sent by Christ. He is more than a prophet- he is 'God with us' (Matt. 1:23).
(2) All other prophets pointed to Christ and spoke of Christ (Acts 10:43). Christ is the sum and substance of their prophecies. He fulfilled and completed all that they foretold (John 1:45; Col. 2:9-10).
(3) All other prophets did begin the holy books and the message of grace. Christ did finish and complete the books, the message, and the work (Heb. 1:1-3).
(4) All other prophets spoke of God by inspiration and learning, but Christ spoke of the Father as being with him and by him (Prov. 8:29-30; John 1:18; Matt. 11:27).
(5) All other prophets have left their work and are gone. Jesus Christ abides in all his offices continually. As he is a Priest forever, so he is the Prophet and the King!