WHO IS ‘THAT PROPHET’ LIKE UNTO MOSES?
compiled by Michael Jeshurun
Who is “that prophet” whom the Jews referred to when they questioned John the Baptist of his identity? For they asked, “What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou THAT PROPHET? And he answered, No.” [John 1:21]
So who was “THAT PROPHET” which the Jews had in mind?
Even Philip who shortly after the Lord called him to be a disciple finds Nathanael and says, “We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” [John 1:45]
We know that all the prophets testify of Christ, but when did Moses make mention of our Lord? Tucked into the midst of Deuteronomy, talking about the punishment of false prophets, Moses made a remarkable prophecy:
“The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, LIKE UNTO ME; unto him ye shall hearken!” [Deut 18:15] And again –
“I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, LIKE UNTO THEE, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.” [Deut 18:18,19]
One thing is clear from the above prophecy i.e. that “THAT PROPHET” whom God would raise from amongst the Jews would be one “LIKE UNTO MOSES”.
Are there any ‘similarities’ between Moses the deliverer and our Lord Jesus Christ? Let us see . . . .
1. First off, He’s definitely from “among the brothers” of Israel, so that’s a good start. The Prophet must be Jewish, and Jesus’ heritage was from the tribe of Judah.
2. Both were shepherds – The Lord Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd”, and Moses also tended sheep – figuratively and literally.
3. Both were sent to bring salvation after 400 years of apparent inactivity from God – the Israelites had been enslaved for 400 years in Egypt, and the 400 years before The Lord Jesus came had been notably silent years from God.
4. Both fasted for 40 days and nights – Moses while on Mount Sinai, and The Lord Jesus in the Judean desert, when being tempted by Satan.
5. Both spent time in Egypt as children (as Jesus had to be hidden there for a while as a baby to escape Herod)
6. Both were born at a time when evil kings pronounced death to all Jewish baby boys in the area – Pharaoh had commanded all Hebrew baby boys to be drowned at birth, and Herod had issued a command to kill all baby boys under the age of two. Both were miraculously rescued from that threat.
7. Both were called by God to lead and save.
8. Both did miracles to testify to their God-given authority
9. Both instituted a covenant of blood that brought salvation for many – Moses with the Passover lamb’s blood on the doorposts, The Lord Jesus, Lamb of God, brought in the new covenant in his blood on the beams of the cross
10. Both were given God’s public stamp of approval with an audible voice from heaven, heard by the crowd – Moses at Sinai, and The Lord Jesus at his baptism
11. Both gave up great riches to lead a humble life of service and poverty – Moses from the palace of the King of Egypt, The Lord Jesus from the heights of heaven. Both were noted for their great humility (Numbers 12:3, Hebrews 11:26-27, Philippians 2)
12. Both were initially rejected by the Jews when the foretold salvation didn’t seem as if it was going to happen. When Moses first challenged Pharaoh, things got a lot worse for the Israelites, leading to despair and anger. The Lord Jesus’s crucifixion looked like a hopeless defeat. Both salvation situations initially looked like the promises were not going to come true. But they did.
13. Both were criticized by their own families – Jesus’s brothers in John 7:5, and Moses’ sister and brother in Numbers 12:1.
14. Both were willing to sacrifice their own lives for the sake of those they were leading, and to pay for the sins of their people – Moses in Exodus 32, and The Lord Jesus’s own readiness to die on our behalf is evident in the Garden of Gethsemane
15. Both miraculously provided the people with bread to eat – manna was sent from heaven for the Israelites and The Lord Jesus miraculously fed the multitudes. Twice. And in one of those instances the people who witnessed the miracle exclaimed – “This is of a truth THAT PROPHET that should come into the world!” [John 6:14]
16. Both were accepted by Gentiles – Moses’ father in law, a Midianite, instantly believed (Exodus 18:10-11) The Egyptians too came to believe that the God of Israel was real and true. And the non-Jews readily accepted The Lord Jesus’s message of salvation.
17. Under Moses, all those who believed him, those who followed the instructions and put the sacrificial blood on their doors, were saved from death. Similarly, under The Lord Jesus, all those who appropriate His sacrificial blood, shed for His elect are saved from Eternal death!
18. Seven weeks (50 days) after the Exodus, the Israelites waited upon God to receive the Torah – now that they had been saved, how then should they live? God gave Moses His covenant and instructions on how to live as a community. Seven weeks (50 days) after the resurrection, the disciples waited as Jesus instructed them to receive the Holy Spirit, and the church was born – a new faith community, and a new way to live as believers.
19. Both of their faces shone with the glory of heaven, as was noted by people who saw them – Moses had to wear a veil over his face because it was beaming so much, and The Lord Jesus’s disciples saw His glory on the Mount of Transfiguration.
20. Moses chose 12 spies to explore Canaan, and The Lord Jesus chose 12 disciples. Moses appointed 70 rulers over Israel, and The Lord Jesus sent 70 disciples out to share the gospel.
21. Moses led the people out from slavery to Pharaoh! The Lord Jesus has redeemed us from slavery to Sin, Satan and the World . . . into life with Him forevermore!
The above similarities are mentioned just to ‘whet your appetite’. There are so many more similarities if you will but pray and dig into God’s Word! But there are a few crucial differences too: Moses was not perfect, and did not cross into the promised land, but our Lord Jesus is perfect, and has gone before us into Heaven itself, to prepare a place for us, and sits at the right hand of the Father not only to intercede for us but from henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool! [Heb 10:12,13]
Hallelujah! Even so come quickly Lord Jesus!
[copied and paraphrased from sources on the web]