J e s u s, PROPHET
S U N D A Y 3 | 2 4 | 1 9
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“Truly, Truly, I say unto you.” These words are a common opening to truth Jesus is about to reveal. It’s such a common phrase that it’s easy to jump right past this introduction without giving it much thought. But these few words carry tremendous implications. When Jesus speaks, he speaks the words of a prophet, but not merely of a prophet speaking for God. Instead, when Jesus speaks, he speaks as God himself.
In the Old Testament, God spoke to his people through prophets. These men spoke the words of God, but not on their own authority. It’s for this reason that they often began their message with “thus says the Lord.” They had an authoritative message, but their authority was derived from God’s authority.
The Bible tells us that “in these last days he has spoken to us through his Son” (Hebrews 1:2). Thus, Jesus speaks from his own authority, as God the Son. Those who heard Jesus teaching noticed the difference and “were astonished at his teaching, because he was teaching them like one who had authority, and not like their scribes” (Matthew 7:28-29).
In Jesus we see the fulfillment of Isaiah’s Immanuel prophecy from centuries before, that God would send one who would be literally “God with us.” No longer must there be an intermediary between God and his people. When Jesus promises, “I am the gate. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture,” we can trust him (John 10:9). God, who cannot lie, is speaking to us.
In this Lenten season, as we think about Christ’s sacrificial suffering and death, may it inspire within us new warmth in our love for Christ. To the early church that had grown lukewarm, Jesus promised that “See! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20). As with all of God’s word to his people, the question for us is: will we listen? “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts,” but listen to the words of Christ (Hebrews 7-8). He is “the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead and the ruler of the kings of the earth” (Revelation 1:5).