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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: The Life and Ministry of Jesus Christ

Don Stewart :: In What Ways Did Jesus Fulfill the Prophetic Ministry?

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In What Ways Did Jesus Fulfill the Prophetic Ministry?

The Life and Ministry of Jesus Christ – Question 18

From the evidence found in Scripture, we discover that Jesus Christ was a prophet. He was sent from God to speak to the people.

In the Bible, a prophet had a twofold function.

First, they spoke forth the word of God to the people.

Second, the prophet would, at times, foretell the future. Jesus, in His prophetic ministry, fulfilled the role of a prophet in both of these respects. The New Testament says the following about the prophetic ministry of Jesus.

1. Jesus Spoke God’s Words

The words of Jesus were prophetic. In other words, He spoke forth God’s Word. Matthew wrote of how Jesus taught the people:

He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying. (Matthew 5:2 NASB)

Jesus taught the truth of God to the people of His day.

The Bible says that the crowds were amazed at His teaching. At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew records the following response of the crowd:

Now when Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes. (Matthew 7:28, 29 NRSV)

The people realized that Jesus had unique authority. He was in a class by Himself.

2. Jesus’ Own Testimony to the Power of His Words

Jesus Himself testified to the power of His words. He made the following claim about them to the multitudes:

It is the Spirit who gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. (John 6:63 NLT)

His words were the words of life.

We read in the Book of Revelation that Jesus’ voice was loud like a trumpet:

It was the Lord’s Day, and I was worshiping in the Spirit. Suddenly, I heard a loud voice behind me, a voice that sounded like a trumpet blast. It said, “Write down what you see, and send it to the seven churches: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.” (Revelation 1:10, 11 NLT)

Jesus’ voice spoke powerful words; the words of the Lord.

3. The Extent of Jesus’ Prophetic Ministry Was from His Baptism to the Cross

The prophetic ministry of Jesus began at the river Jordan. After His baptism, the Holy Spirit came upon Him. He then began to proclaim the message of God’s coming kingdom.

The Gospel of Matthew says the following:

Jesus was going all over Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. Then the news about Him spread throughout Syria. So they brought to Him all those who were afflicted, those suffering from various diseases and intense pains, the demon-possessed, the epileptics, and the paralytics. And He healed them. Large crowds followed Him from Galilee, Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan. (Matthew 4:23-25 HCSB)

His prophetic ministry ended when He offered Himself as a sacrifice for the sins of the world upon Calvary’s cross.

4. Jesus, like Some Prophets, Performed Miraculous Deeds

While not all of God’s prophets performed miraculous deeds, many of them did. Jesus performed miracles as part of his prophetic ministry. Jesus said,

But I have a greater testimony than John’s because of the works that the Father has given Me to accomplish. These very works I am doing testify about Me that the Father has sent Me. (John 5:36 HCSB)

Jesus compared Himself to John the Baptist. However, He said His testimony was greater than that of John because of the miracles He performed.

Jesus emphasized that His miraculous deeds demonstrated that He was the One whom He claimed to be. John wrote,

Jesus replied, “I have already told you, and you don’t believe me. The proof is what I do in the name of my Father.” (John 10:25 NLT)

The proof of His claims was in His miraculous deeds.

5. The People Were Held Responsible

Jesus said the people were responsible to believe because they had seen His miraculous deeds. John records Jesus saying the following about this:

If I hadn’t done such miraculous signs among them that no one else could do, they would not be counted guilty. But as it is, they saw all that I did and yet hated both of us—me and my Father. (John 15:24 NLT)

The fact that these people saw Jesus’ signs and wonders made them responsible to act upon what they saw and heard.

On the Day of Pentecost, Peter reminded the people of Jesus miracles. He made the following statement to the crowd:

Men of Israel, listen to these words: This Jesus the Nazarene was a man pointed out to you by God with miracles, wonders, and signs that God did among you through Him, just as you yourselves know. (Acts 2:22 HCSB)

They were familiar with the fact that Jesus was a miracle worker.

6. He Was a Matchless Example

Jesus was a spokesman for God by providing a matchless example. His behavior was to serve as an example:

For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. (John 13:15 NKJV)

Jesus is our example.

Peter would later write about the example that Jesus left for us. He put it this way:

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps. He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth. When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. (1 Peter 2:21-23 NRSV)

We are to behave like Christ. He has given us the pattern which we are to follow.

7. He Was Silent When Necessary

Jesus not only spoke forth the Word of God, He was also silent when necessary. Pontius Pilate attempted to have Jesus respond to the charges that were placed against Him.

Matthew records the following conversation:

“Don’t you hear their many charges against you?” Pilate demanded (Matthew 27:13 NLT)

Jesus heard the charges, yet, He did not respond to Pilate. Rather, Jesus remained silent. We also read in Matthew’s gospel:

But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed. (Matthew 27:14 NRSV)

Later, Peter wrote about this silence of Jesus in the face of the false accusations made against Him. The Apostle Peter wrote the following about our Lord’s response:

When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. (1 Peter 2:23 NRSV)

This is another illustration of how we are to behave. Instead of always trying to defend ourselves against false accusations we should allow the Lord to be our defender.

8. Jesus Sent the Holy Spirit

Jesus also fulfilled the role of a prophet by sending the Holy Spirit. He made the following promise to His disciples:

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit and the Father will send Him in My name and will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you. (John 14:26 HCSB)

The Holy Spirit, sent from Jesus, will testify to Jesus’ words and deeds. Jesus made a further promise about the role of the Spirit. John also records Jesus’ words:

I will send you the Spirit who comes from the Father and shows what is true. The Spirit will help you and will tell you about me. (John 15:26 CEV)

Today, the Holy Spirit carries on the prophetic ministry of Christ. He is the One who proclaims the word of Christ by speaking through the believers.

In sum, we find that Jesus Christ was a prophet and fulfilled the prophetic ministry that the Lord had given Him from the time of His baptism until His final words on the cross.

Summary – Question 18
in What Ways Did Jesus Fulfill the Prophetic Ministry?

Jesus Christ was a prophet. In other words, He was God’s spokesmen to the people. Jesus fulfilled the prophetic ministry in a number of ways.

As a prophet, He publicly spoke the words of God to the people. He was thus God’s representative on the earth.

His prophetic ministry extended from the time of His baptism at the Jordan River until He died on Calvary’s cross. In other words, from the moment He appeared publicly, until His death, He was God’s spokesman to the world.

Unlike some prophets, Jesus also performed miraculous deeds. While other prophets performed miracles, Jesus’ miracles were unique. Indeed, He did things nobody else has ever done before or since.

In addition, His words and His life give a matchless example to all. We are to mold our lives after His.

There is something else which we must appreciate. Jesus was God’s spokesman while He was here on the earth, yet, there were times when He was remained silent. He did not defend Himself to Pontius Pilate. We can learn a valuable lesson from this. There are times when we too are to remain silent and let the Lord be our defender.

Today, the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus sent, carries on His prophetic ministry. His message is continuously being told in all parts of our world.

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Did Jesus Make Predictions That Have Come True during His Lifetime? Next Section →
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