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Jesus the Prophet, part 1
Over the next four weeks as we move through Advent (toward Christmas), we are going to be working our way through a series of studies that take a look at Jesus as Prophet, Priest, King and Lamb. We will begin this week by considering Jesus as The Prophet of God.
It seems that when most people hear the word prophet, they think of someone who tells the future, usually in a mystical sense. We tend to think of someone like Nostradamus, one of the most famous so-called prophets, who is claimed to have predicted many world events and is assumed to have made prophecies about things which have yet to happen. Therefore, it seems to me, that we tend to think of prophets as those who speak of things that only pertain to the future; things which have yet to happen.
These kinds of prophecy are exciting, because they promise to reveal to us things that have yet to come. All you have to do is take a quick look at the popularity of horoscopes, which claim to be able, through their vague wordings, to tell you what your day will be like and you see this being played out. People like the idea that they will have power over their day by reading their horoscope and anticipating what will happen.
Maybe one the most annoying commercials I remember seeing on television was the commercial from Mrs. Clio. She was a woman with a Jamaican accent who claimed to be able to tell you what would happen with your love life with “astonishing accuracy” - for only a small fortune in phone costs. So, when people think of a prophet, they think of someone who tells the future, and their appeal goes back to the beginning of time as people have sought to look into what will happen by casting lots, cutting open chickens, or consulting their Lucky Eight Ball.
In a Biblical sense, there are indeed prophets who fit this mold in the sense that they tell about things that are going to happen. Much of Isaiah is prophecy which looked forward to the coming of Jesus, especially Isaiah 53. vs 5 of the 53rd chapter is clearly a prophecy about Jesus: “But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” This verse and the ones around it are clearly about the life, and horrible death, of Jesus which would bring about salvation, for all those who believe and put their faith in Him.
The prophet Micah also spoke of the future coming of Christ: he says in Micah 5:2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for Me One who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times,” speaking of Jesus’ birth in the little town of Bethlehem.
Even King David played the role of prophet at times. He wrote Psalm 22, which foretells Jesus’ crucifixion in chilling detail, telling about Jesus’ feelings of being forsaken, the insults that were hurled at Him, the wounds in His hands and feet, and even the fact that the Roman guards divided His garments between them. Although it was hard for those who studied Scripture to accurately read the prophecies concerning Jesus, we can look back in hindsight and see that His birth, life, death, and resurrection were all foretold in prophecy. The prophecies concerning Jesus are clear enough that it is obvious that God wanted us to know that this was what He had in mind when it came to saving us.
Medication: A Merry Heart
A juggler, driving to his next performance, is stopped by the police.
“What are those machetes doing in your car?” asks the cop.
“I juggle them in my act.”
"Oh, yeah?" says the doubtful cop. “Let’s see you do it.”
The juggler gets out and starts tossing and catching the knives.
Another man driving by slows down to watch. “Wow” says the passer-by. “I’m glad I quit drinking. Look at the test they're giving now!”
God Bless, Press On!
St Mark’s Community Church, Janesville
New Beginnings Church, New Ulm
Verse of the Week: Romans 15:13 NIV
Today’s readings: 1 Thessalonians 1 – 5 & 2 Thessalonians 1 – 3