A Prophet Like Moses.
“The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your fellow Israelites, and you must listen to that prophet.” – Deuteronomy 18:15 NLT
Back in Exodus 19-20 we have recorded the incident where the people of God begged Moses to intercede with God on their behalf. They had seen the power and presence of God on the mountain top in the form of thunder, lightning, and smoke. God had just given His commandments to Moses and the people were terrified. So they told Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen; but let not God speak to us, or we will die” (Exodus 20:19 NASB). Moses became their spokesman and intercessor. He communicated to them the words of God. He interceded on their behalf with God. Now in Deuteronomy 18, Moses lets the people know that there would be other prophets to come after him. There would be one in particular who would be raised up by God from among them. God would put His words in this individual’s mouth and he would speak on behalf of God.
This statement by Moses clearly speaks of Jesus and His future coming. “But even as he said it, a bright cloud came over them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my beloved Son, and I am fully pleased with him. Listen to him.'” (Matthew 17:5 NLT). In speaking to the Jews of His day, Jesus said, “Yet it is not I who will accuse you of this before the Father. Moses will accuse you! Yes, Moses, on whom you set your hopes. But if you had believed Moses, you would have believed me because he wrote about me. And since you don’t believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?” (John 5:45-47 NLT). Jesus made it clear that He spoke on behalf of God, just as Moses had predicted. “But all who reject me and my message will be judged at the day of judgment by the truth I have spoken. I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me gave me his own instructions as to what I should say. And I know his instructions lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say!” (John 12:48-50 NLT). Peter, after the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, told the Jews in the crowd, “Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up a Prophet like me from among your own people. Listen carefully to everything he tells you.’ Then Moses said, ‘Anyone who will not listen to that Prophet will be cut off from God’s people and utterly destroyed.’” (Acts 3:22-23 NLT). Jesus was clearly the ultimate fulfillment of this prophesy.
This prophesy is clearly a Messianic promise and Jesus fulfilled that promise in a number of ways::
He was spared in infancy (Exodus 2; Matthew 2:13-23)
He renounced a royal court (Hebrews 11:24-27; Philippians 2:5-8)
He had compassion for the people (Numbers 27:17; Matthew 9:36)
He made intercession for the people (Deuteronomy 9:18; Hebrews 7:25)
He spoke with God face to face (Exodus 34:29-30; 2 Corinthians 3:7)
He was the mediator of a covenant (Deuteronomy 29:1; Hebrews 8:6-7)
God had revealed Himself through Moses in the Old Testament period. But that role, as great as it was, would be surpassed by Jesus during the New Testament period. While Moses saved the people from slavery in Egypt, Jesus would provide salvation from slavery to sin and death. But while there are many similarities between Jesus and Moses, Jesus is superior. Moses was a prototype of what was to come. Jesus was the fulfillment. Moses was simply a shadow of the Light of the world. So here are seven ways in which Jesus was superior to Moses.
Jesus provided eternal salvation through His death
While Moses died in the wilderness, Jesus was resurrected from the dead
Jesus ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father
Moses job as prophet and intercessor ended with his death, but Jesus continued to speak on behalf of God after His death (through the New Testament prophets)
Jesus continues to intercede for us
Jesus will one day return for us
Jesus will ultimately bring us into God’s presence
The writer of the book of Hebrews makes it clear that Jesus was and is superior to Moses. Moses was a man who spoke on behalf of God. Jesus is the God-man who came as the very image of God in human form, delivering God’s message of redemption and reconciliation. Jesus didn’t just deliver from physical slavery, but spiritual slavery. Jesus didn’t just come to provide a land in which to live, but an eternity in which to dwell with God. “But Jesus deserves far more glory than Moses, just as a person who builds a fine house deserves more praise than the house itself. For every house has a builder, but God is the one who made everything. Moses was certainly faithful in God’s house, but only as a servant. His work was an illustration of the truths God would reveal later. But Christ, the faithful Son, was in charge of the entire household. And we are God’s household, if we keep up our courage and remain confident in our hope in Christ.” (Hebrews 3:3-5 NLT).
Father, Your Son is the fulfillment of all things. He is the prophet Moses promised. He is the one who was to come, and He did come, delivering Your message of hope and healing. He was the ultimate sacrifice. He was the prophet, priest, and king. He was the deliverer and the One who was delivered up for my sake. His words are Your words. Teach us to listen to Him, just as Moses said. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men