Listening or seeing – which is more important?
Why was Jesus the Second Moses?
In the religious Jewish community there is none more revered than Moses. The giver of the Torah, the deliverer from Egyptian bondage, the leader through the wilderness, the Miracle Maker of the Old Covenant. When we look at the life and ministry of Jesus, we see astonishing parallels.
Both were born into a Hebrew world under Gentile domination (Egyptian and Roman).
Both had unusual cots at birth (basket and manger).
Both were saved from death at the King's order (Pharaoh, Herod)
Both were raised in the home of one who was not their father (Pharaoh, Joseph)
Both had to put up with criticism and persecution from their own people
Both appointed 70 chosen helpers (Numbers 11:16, Luke 10:1)
Both sent out 12 men on special missions (Numbers 13:1-2, Matthew 10:1,5)
Both experienced 40 day fasts (Exodus 34:38, Matthew 4:1-2)
Both fed multitudes through miraculous means (manna and quails, bread and fish)
Both were touched by God so that their faces shone (Exodus 34:29-30, Matthew 17:1-2)
Both heard God as an audible voice (Exodus 19:9,19, John 12:23,27-28)
Both acted as mediators of a covenant that was sealed by blood (Exodus 24:7-8, Matthew 26:26-28)
Both interceded for their people with God (Numbers 11:1-2, Luke 23:33-34)
Both delivered their people from bondage (Exodus 3:9-10, Acts 7:25)
Both performed miracles (Exodus 3:20, John 5:19-20)
Both appeared after death (transfiguration, resurrection)
This surely is enough to demonstrate the continuity between the Old and New covenants, through comparing the dominant characters in each. But we need to return to the prophecy given to Moses and decide whether Yeshua, indeed, did fulfil it.
"The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers ..."
Was Yeshua this prophet? Let's examine further.
It's interesting that on a web search for "prophet Jesus", the majority of hits are Muslim websites, or Christian websites speaking to Muslims. Muslims have no problems with considering Jesus (Yeshua) as prophet, it's the other stuff they take issue with! It's even more interesting to note that Jewish scholars of modern times have no problem with Yeshua as prophet, again it's the other stuff they take issue with!
Yeshua certainly considered himself a prophet.
"Jesus said to them, 'Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor." (Mark 6:4)
"In any case, I must keep going today and tomorrow and the next day -for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!" (Luke 13:33)
As did individuals who he ministered to.
"Sir," the woman said, "I can see that you are a prophet." (John 4:19)
"Finally they turned again to the blind man, 'What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.' The man replied, "He is a prophet." (John 9:17)
And so did the people ...
"The crowds answered, 'This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.' (Matthew 21:11)
"They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet." (Matthew 21:46)
"They were all filled with awe and praised God. 'A great prophet has appeared among us,' they said. "God has come to help his people." (Luke 7:16)
In Yeshua's day, before he had a chance to show them otherwise, there was a conviction that prophecy had ceased. There were no prophets in the vein of the Old Testament giants such as Isaiah or Jeremiah. The only prophetic expectation was for the return of Elijah and the coming of the Messiah, the awaited Prophet mentioned earlier. This is demonstrated first by a question posed to John the Baptist:
"They asked him, 'Then who are you? Are you Elijah?' He said, 'I am not.' "Are you the Prophet?" He answered, "No." (John 1:20)
And, after Yeshua had been observed for some time by the Jews of his day, this was their conclusion:
"After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, "Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world." (John 6:14)
"On hearing his words, some of the people said, “Surely this man is the Prophet." (John 7:40)
As the only prophet awaited was the one prophesised by Moses, it seems that Yeshua, through his words and actions, fitted the bill, filled the vacancy.
The LORD said to me: "What they say is good. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account". (Deuteronomy 18:17-19)
Yeshua demonstrated this further by indicating exactly where his words came from.
"Jesus answered, 'My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me. If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own." (John 7:16-17)
"For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it." (John 12:49)
Yeshua the King, High Priest ... and Prophet.
(This is an abridged extract from Steve's book 'Jesus Man of Many Names')