Christ was the perfect Prophet. He was both the messenger and the message—the Word made flesh. The message He proclaimed was not about a future redemption, but one that He himself would accomplish.
Have you ever seen the show “Undercover Boss”? In each episode, the CEO of large corporation disguises him- or herself as a low-level employee and works alongside other low ranking workers. The CEO learns about the struggles and frustrations of his company’s work-a-day crews. The lower-ranking employees have no idea, until the end, that their new co-worker actually has the power to solve the problems they face day in and day out.
It is a powerful thing when a go-between has the authority to do more than listen and relay messages up and down the chain of command. This is a power that sets Jesus apart from other prophets. He is more than a messenger. He has authority.
During Advent, we remember how the Maker of heaven and earth came as one of us—not only listen to us, but to solve our deepest problem: our need for redemption. Jesus came as the perfect messenger, the perfect prophet.
The Old Testament prophets delivered various parts of the same message. What was that message? It was the people’s need for redemption and God’s plan of salvation. They proclaimed the sin of man and the redemption of God. As often as God sent them, their footsteps echoed the message of sin and redemption, sin and redemption, sin and redemption.
But the message those prophets delivered, they did not accomplish. This sets Jesus apart from all other prophets. Until Christ, prophets were only the bearers of God’s Word, pointing to another who would ultimately fulfill those words. Christ is the Prophet who not only brings the words of God, He embodies them—literally. Jesus comes as the One who will accomplish the salvation He and all the others had proclaimed.
The message He proclaimed was not about a redemption way off in the future, but about the one He Himself would complete. Jesus came to fulfill the words given by the Old Testament prophets (Matthew 5:17). He claimed to be the Savior the prophets foretold (Luke 4:16-22). He was the message of salvation, in the flesh, sent from God (John 1:1-14), and was singularly devoted to the Father’s plan of salvation (John 8:28).
This is why John opened his Gospel exclaiming, “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us” (John 1:14). God’s message of salvation was Jesus, the prophet who became the Word of God. Christ was the perfect prophet. He was both the messenger and the message—the Word made flesh.
Written By Russ Ramsey