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Jesus Christ: The Prophet like Moses

As we have seen in the previous chapter, there were seven unique attributes about Moses’ life that made him distinguishable from anyone else. Deuteronomy 18:18 foretells that there would be another Prophet who would come, much like him, who would exhibit the same outstanding qualities. These characteristics must be special and distinct, nothing that could be applied to the average individual. For example, Moses was married and had children. This is not uncommon since many other men have done the same.

According to the Old Testament’s Hebrew Scriptures, no other man had ever come close to Moses’ profile -- until a child was born in Bethlehem. Jesus of Nazareth was born of a virgin (Matthew 1:18-23, Luke 1:30-35). His mother’s name was Mary, of the royal line of David (Luke 3:23,31). His adopted father was Joseph, also from the same kingly line (Matthew 1:6-16). Since Jesus’ Father is God Himself, and He is a descendent of King David, He is ‘Royalty’ to the highest possible degree. Psalm 89:34-37 states that He was the fulfillment of God’s unconditional promise to David, when the LORD said:

“My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. (35) Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. (36) His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me. (37) It shall be established for ever as the moon, and [as] a faithful witness in heaven. Selah.”

For Jesus to qualify as the Prophet of Deuteronomy 18:18, He should be able to meet ALL of the standards that were applied to Moses. In the same order listed in the previous chapter, they are as follows:

1) When Moses was born, Pharaoh had already decreed that the newborn sons of the Israelites would be killed. Likewise, when Jesus was born, Matthew 2:16-18 reveals that King Herod provided a similar proclamation declaring that all Hebrew children two years of age and younger would be killed:

“Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men. (17) Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, (18) In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.”

2) To keep the infant Moses from harm, his mother sent him into the heart of Egypt, into the house of Pharaoh. When Moses became an adult, he ‘came out’ from Egypt. Following, the LORD used him mightily to rescue His people.

  In similar fashion, shortly after Jesus was born, Matthew 2:13-15 declares that,

“…the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. (14) When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: (15) And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.”

As an infant, Jesus was sent into Egypt. Like Moses, He was saved from being killed. Similar to Moses, when Jesus came out of Egypt, He rescued His people. While Moses was used by God to save Israel from physical destruction, Jesus was used by God to save them from spiritual destruction when He redeemed them from their sins.

3) Moses was from the tribe of Levi, a descendent of Jacob, a Jew. Jesus was also a Jew. His mother Mary was the daughter of Heli, who was a descendent of King David (Luke 3:23,31). The New Testament Scriptures verify that Jesus came from the line of David as follows:

Being a Jew like Moses, Jesus was also a prophet. An example of Jesus’ prophecies can be found in Matthew 24:1-2 when He foretold of the destruction of the temple:

“And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. (2) And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”

As Jesus prophesied, the temple was destroyed forty years after His crucifixion, in AD 70.

Another example of Jesus’ prophecies can be found in Luke 21:24. Though Matthew 24:1-2 records His foretelling of the destruction of the temple, Luke 21:24 reveals that He also stated that the Jews would “be led away captive” and that “Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” In AD 70, this prophecy was also fulfilled.

4) According to Exodus 34:29-30,35, Moses’ face shined with God’s glory. In similar fashion, Jesus’ face shined with the glory of God. This occurred at the mount of transfiguration. In Matthew 17:1-5, Jesus took Peter, James and John up to a high mountain. It was there where He was transfigured in front of them. His face shone like the sun, just like Moses:

“And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, (2) And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. (3) And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. (4) Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. (5) While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.”

In his writings, the apostle John, who was with Jesus on the mount, provides the testimony and witness to this event. According to John 1:14, he states about Jesus the following: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

5) Deuteronomy 9:11 records that Moses introduced a covenant relationship between the LORD and the children of Israel when he descended from Mt. Sinai with the Ten Commandments. In Deuteronomy 31:16, God told Moses that the people of Israel would break the covenant. Jeremiah 31:31-32 concurs:

The Jeremiah passage confirms Deuteronomy 31:16 indicating that the covenant which God gave to Moses at Sinai would be broken. It further states that there would be a New Covenant. According to Matthew 26:26-28, it was Jesus Christ who provided this covenant when, at the Passover meal, the following took place:

In this particular illustration, since Hebrews 7:22 and Hebrews 8:6 reveal that Jesus became the provider of a better testament/covenant than Moses, He should be considered greater than Moses. Hebrews 7:22 and Hebrews 8:6 confirm:

Hebrews 7:22   “By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.”

Hebrews 8:6 (Regarding Jesus)   “But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.”

6) Miraculous Signs and Wonders

During Moses’ lifetime, the LORD used him to perform miraculous signs and wonders such has the world had never seen. Because of this, he became the standard by which all other prophets are measured. Regarding Moses, every other prophet in the Old Testament Hebrew Scriptures paled in comparison when it came to displaying God’s awesome power – until Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem.

The wondrous miracles that the LORD demonstrated through Moses were far surpassed through Jesus in so many ways. During His ministry, people became healed from their afflictions by the mere touch of His garment. An example of this can be found in Matthew 9:20-22, which states:

“And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: (21) For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. (22) But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.”

The Lord Jesus exhibited tremendous compassion toward His people. There was a time when He healed a man from a terrible disease called leprosy, as Luke 5:12-13 records:

“And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. (13) And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him.”

Mark 10:49-52 and John 9:1-7 describe a time when Jesus healed a blind man, so that he could see. Additionally, according to Mark 7:31-37, Jesus cured a man who was deaf and dumb. He even healed the lame and the crippled so that they could walk.

Matthew 15:30-31 attests to the many moments when Jesus healed His people during His entire ministry:

“And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus' feet; and he healed them: (31) Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel.”

As testimony to Jesus’ great authority, He cured those who were possessed by demons by casting them out (Matthew 8:16, Luke 8:26-34). Jesus also displayed His mastery over nature itself when He calmed the raging winds and waters of the sea (Luke 8:22-25). Jesus even walked on the waters of the sea (Matthew 14:25-27).

There were other times when Jesus continued to amaze His own disciples by far surpassing even their expectations of Him. Luke 7:12-15 bears witness to His power over death itself when He raised a man from the dead and made him alive:

“Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. (13) And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. (14) And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. (15) And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.”

In John 11:39, after Jesus’ friend Lazarus had been dead four days, Jesus said to Lazarus’ sister, “…Take ye away the stone. Martha.” According to John 11:41-44, immediately after the stone that sealed Lazarus’ grave was removed, the following took place:

“…And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. (42) And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. (43) And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. (44) And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.”

In the writings of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, many miracles are recorded that were performed by God through Jesus Christ. Jesus accomplished more than was written in the Bible, as John 20:30 declares, “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book.”

After Jesus was crucified, the many ways in which the LORD demonstrated His power were culminated with one last miracle: John 19:40-42 reveals that Jesus’ body was laid in a sepulchre, a tomb. Matthew 27:60, 66 advises that a heavy stone was placed in front of the tomb sealing it. Further, guards were placed in front of the sepulchre to ensure that Jesus’ body would not be stolen. Nevertheless, God raised Jesus from the dead! The stone was miraculously removed (John 20:1) and Jesus appeared alive. He spoke to His disciples and even ate with them (Luke 24:36-43, John 20:19-20).

Regarding signs and wonders, there can be no doubt that God displayed His power through Jesus in a mightier way than with Moses. Concerning Deuteronomy 18:18, Jesus is not only the Prophet like Moses, He is greater than Moses!

7) As previously shown, Moses offered himself to God to be slain instead of his people. He also made intercession for the people. So did Jesus!

In John 10:11, 15 Jesus said: “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep…As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.” He continues in John 15:13 to say the following, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

In this respect, Jesus was exactly like Moses! He offered Himself to take the punishment in place of the people. The Scriptures teach that, just like Moses, Jesus made intercession for the transgressors and was a mediator to God on behalf of His people. This was prophesied in Isaiah 53:12 and was fulfilled at Calvary, and at the cross:

Because Jesus was raised from the dead, He is our eternal mediator and intercessor. In this aspect, regarding Deuteronomy 18:18, He is much greater than Moses. Hebrews 7:22-25 declares:

With respect to Deuteronomy 18:18, Jesus Christ meets ALL of the special and unique requirements that were attributed to Moses. In a number of categories, He exceeded Moses. The following chapter will address Islam’s prophet Muhammad. Will he be successful in meeting these same requirements?