Continuing with the offices of Christ series, we will look at the first office that Christ holds, namely that of prophet.
What is a prophet in the Biblical sense? There may be many definitions, but the one I personally think is most descriptive, is:
A prophet is an accredited messenger from God.
Let’s look at that in a little bit more detail. How is accreditation achieved, and why is it necessary? Well, if we just take a look at the classified ads in any of the tabloids, we see many claiming to be prophets of God, or who claim to be His messenger. It was the same in Biblical times (except for the tabloids, I can hardly see the “National Enquirer of Jerusalem”). But as Puritan Lad showed in his end times series at the Covenant Theology blog, there were many claiming to be prophets or false messiahs, even back then. Accreditiation is needed to prove that a person is indeed a messenger from God.
How did someone then become accredited? Recall Moses’ staff turning into a snake and back, or Elijah restoring a boy’s life through his words. Those miracles were proof that they were indeed messengers from God. As John Frame then states, since the miracles attest the prophet, it also attests his prophecies. Furthermore, a distinguishing sign of Biblical prophets is that their prophesies always, in all cases, come true.
Just the same then, we see how Jesus did miracles to attest to His divine origin, and it sure worked. He turned water into wine, He calmed the seas, He multiplied the loaves of bread and fish, He raised Lazarus from the dead etc, and word very quickly spread of His powers. So much so that even those that did not know anything else about Him, called Him a prophet. (Matt 16:14, Luke 7:16, John 4:19) It was seen by many as the fulfillment of Deut 18:15, 18 (John 6:14). So while it is clear that Jesus was regarded as a prophet from the beginning, He is never directly addressed as a great prophet, because He was seen as so much greater than any prophet previous or since.
Jesus did prophesize though. He foretold future events. The most telling of these were of His own death and resurrection. He foretold this in great detail. And then, the whole book of Revelations, given by Christ to John, is a book of prophecy.
The other duty of prophets in the bible was to teach, sometimes called prophecy (1 Cor 14:3). This duty was also exercised by Christ, explaining the law and its misuse by the Pharisees, but more importantly, teaching us the gospel. He teached in many cities, to many types of people. Jesus gave us an understanding of the gospel in such a gracious and assured way that we still hold fast to that exact same message today.
In summary then, Christ holds the office of prophet, and whatever He teached and foretold, can be held onto as a certainty. What Jesus said was God’s truth, in many cases confirming Old Testament revelation, and in many cases new revelation.
Tomorrow we will follow the office of priest that Christ held. Until then, may God bless you and keep you.