Jesus Christ as a prophet - What does the Bible say?
Jesus of Nazareth interacted with many people during His sojourn on earth; these people saw Him in a variety of ways. One of the ideas that people had concerning Him was that He was a prophet. The Samaritan woman whom Jesus encountered one day at noon was astonished at the ability of Jesus to speak concerning the events and conditions of her life. "'Sir,' the woman said, 'I can see that you are a prophet'" (John 4:19). This woman embraced the idea that Jesus' power to "see" was due to the fact that He was a prophet. Jesus had told her things that she realized He couldn't have known.
But what does the Bible have to say about Jesus Christ as a prophet? The role of the prophet in the Old Testament was to foretell the future and the truths about God. Jesus, of course, did both of these things. He foretold the future when He spoke of the destruction of Jerusalem. "When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written" (Luke 21:20-22). This event took place later on in history in the year A.D. 70. He, in turn, spoke forth the truths of God when He spoke to the disciples and the crowds is His well-known Sermon on the Mount. "Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. . ." (Matthew 5:1-2).
But was Jesus only a prophet? Jesus of Nazareth, largely misunderstood by the religious leaders of His day and even His own disciples, performed many signs. What did these signs point to? When the royal official came to Jesus about his son who was sick, near death, Jesus healed the son. "Jesus replied, 'You may go. Your son will live.' The man took Jesus at His word and departed. While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living" (John 4:50-51). When Jesus' friend Lazarus died, Jesus went to the tomb. "When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, 'Lazarus, come out!' The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, 'Take off the grave clothes and let him go'" (John 11:43-44). Jesus had power over death.
Not only did Jesus manifest power over sickness and death, He also had power over the elements. When the storm raged while Jesus was with His disciples in the boat, He spoke to the sea. "He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, 'Quiet! Be still!' Then the wind died down and it was completely calm" (Mark 4:39). No mere prophet possessed all of these supernatural powers. Ultimately, all of the signs that Jesus performed pointed to the fact that He is indeed God. Only God could take authority over sickness, death, and the elements as He did.
But Jesus Himself showed this truth to the people when He healed a paralyzed man. "Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, 'Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven'" (Matthew 9:2). The religious leaders were incensed at this remark; they called Him a blasphemer because He presumed to do what only God could do - forgive sins. Jesus stood up to them making it clear that He indeed possessed such power. "But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. . ." Then He said to the paralytic, 'Get up, take your mat and go home.' And the man got up and went home" (Matthew 9:6-7). The manifestation of the visible miracle proved the invisible miracle of forgiveness from sins.
Jesus Christ was the promised Messiah, God come to earth in human form. When Jesus had continued to talk to the Samaritan woman, He told her who He was. "The woman said, 'I know that Messiah' [called Christ] 'is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.' Then Jesus declared, 'I who speak to you am he'" (John 4:25-26).
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