Christ: Prophet, Priest, and King

Posted 4/11/2009

  1. Prophet
    1. De 18:15-18 - A prophet is simply a mouthpiece of God. When the people of Israel heard the voice of the Lord God directly speaking the Ten Commandments, they were literally scared to death, and afraid for their lives. So, God mercifully continued the transfer of His law to them by using prophets, like Moses.

      So, here in Deuteronomy 18, God is clarifying what it means to be His prophet:

      This last point is worth considering. How would you, hearing the words of a supposed prophet, know whether what he spoke was true or not? First, remember that prophecy is not always about knowing the future. Prophecy is simply declaring the word of God, which very often was very much settled in the present. For instance, when Jesus was talking with the Samaritan woman at the well, He established His credibility by demonstrating that He knew her current and past marital status Jo 4:17-19. She immediately acknowledges this by calling Him a prophet, and proceeds to question Him further on matters on which a prophet would be an authority: how to worship God.

      1. He would be like Moses, a descendant of Abraham
      2. He would speak the words that God commands him
      3. All who heard and did not listen to those words would have to answer to God, as if the words came directly from God
      4. He would pay with his life for falsely giving words as God's
      5. His words would be proven true
    2. A prophet would also have power from God to perform miracles, as proof of his authority to speak the words of God. The Jewish leadership knew this was a requirement, and asked for Jesus' proof of authority by means of signs Jo 2:18, and even accepted his miracles as proof of his connection to God Jo 3:2.

      The bottom line is that a prophet's job is to accurately reveal God to His people. Jesus repeatedly insisted on His role of subjection to the word of God His Father, and beyond the innate authority of His words themselves Mat 7:28-29; Joh 7:40 proved Himself over and over again with sign after unquestionable sign. Just like God did when showing His power in signs to get His people out of Egypt Num 14:11, so Jesus backed up His claims with works of power Jo 14:11

    3. The Prophet. It is clear from the expectations of the Jews, and in further references in later NT writings, that God promised a singular Prophet with a unique position of speaking His Word De 18:18. Jesus alone is God become man, bringing the revelation of God to a new level with a physical presence on earth.

  2. Priest
    The job of a priest is to reconcile men to God ("propitiation" Heb 2:17; Rom 8:34). Jesus is uniquely suited for this job. He didn't have to prove anything for this role, as with being a prophet. A priest has to be able to stand in the presence of God and ask forgiveness for the sins of the people. God carefully laid out requirements for the heredity, purification, and special provision for His priests, so they could just as carefully be sure to present themselves holy before God Ex 19:22. Over and over again, they had to do this, because the priests themselves had their own impurities to deal with Heb 10:4
    1. He was born to the position. As the sinless Son of God Heb 7:26, He has inherited the right to enter the presence of God the Father Heb 8:1.
    2. He earned the position. Because He gave His life, He became worthy of everything! All power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor, glory and blessing! Is 53:12; Rev 5:6-14
    3. He deserves the position. He lived the life of a man, encountering all the temptations we do, without once falling to them. Luk 23:34; Heb 4:15
  3. King
    Whereas a prophet declares the law of God, and a priest patches things up when people don't keep that law, the king provides means of implementing that law. Justice performed with wisdom and righteousness effects peace Is 9:7; Jer 23:5. A king has complete authority over His kingdom, bringing peace and power over His enemies. Da 7:14
    1. A kingdom. What's the point of being a king over nothing? Christ's kingdom is out of this world, literally Jo 18:36, for now. Eventually, He will also gain this world as well Rev 11:15; Php 2:10-11
    2. Justice. The authority to be taken seriously, instead of a mere figurehead, means real power, even when riding on a donkey! Zec 9:9
    3. Righteousness. With no self-pleasing, indulgent motives in mind, a righteous king keeps his authority and justice perfectly true to the words of God, and free from wickedness. Is 59:16; Ps 45:7


All verses in this article