“The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him.” (Deuteronomy 18:15, NIV)
It’s always gratifying when a promise is finally made good. It’s an encouragement to faith when a Scripture prophecy comes true! Amazingly, many people often don’t recognize the answer to their prayers because it doesn’t fit their expectations. What Moses told the Israelites in Deuteronomy 18:15 was meant to reassure his hearers who realized Moses was an old man. They wondered how they would cope without him.
God sent many prophets to guide Israel. In most cases, they were not well received. Jesus clearly knew, as a prophet, that He would have the same difficulties as others before Him (Luke 11:37–54). Jesus’ followers saw Him as the answer to Moses’ promise. Peter explained that Jesus was the answer to Moses’ prophecy (Acts 3:22–23). Stephen, referring to Jesus, said, “This is the Moses who told the Israelites, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your own people’”
The parallels between Moses and Jesus are amazing. Moses gave the Law, and Jesus brought grace, the gospel enabling believers to live as God intended from their hearts. Both were born outside their home territory. Both lived for some time as refugees or aliens, and then began their ministry as adults. Both Moses and Jesus were resisted by their own people. They showed their authenticity by miracles. Both, though princes, were consigned to obscurity, then raised to power: Moses among the Midianites, and Jesus on earth, and in Galilee, and then back to heaven.
The leadership and majority of Israel did not recognize Jesus as the prophet Moses promised. What did they expect? A dynamic rescuer from their political morass? Did they fail to see that their bondage was not simply to the Romans as a political power, but to their own sinful weakness from which Jesus would set them free?
What do you hope and pray for as Christmas approaches? The answer may be bigger and better than you expect!