There are many people who believe that Jesus Christ was a good man. By others, he is considered to be a prophet. Was Jesus a prophet or there indications that He was more than that?
What exactly is a prophet?
A prophet is someone who speaks to people on behalf of God. He explains what God wants and he is calling people to follow God’s will. Often a prophet warns people of the consequences of their bad deeds. Prophets also announce events that will occur in the future.
The message of the prophets always contains a message of hope. The message usually includes acall to stop sinful bahvoiur and start living the way God wants. A prophet’s message was often not warmly received. Generally speaking, “being a prophet” was on the list of most dangerous professions.
How do you recognize a true prophet?
Not everyone who claims to be speaking the words of God is also a prophet. God has several ways in which true prophets can be recognized. A prophet often receives predictions that also come true in the near future. For example, the prophet Moses predicted that plagues would come upon Egypt. Not long after, 10 terrible plagues struck Egypt. In addition, prophets also receive predictions about events that would not happen until (long) after the prophet has died.
Prophets were usually very normal people, such as shepherds, farmers, priests or writers. Each of them was appointed by God Himself for their task. They were all men and women who had a special trust in God. Righteous people with a special connection to God.
In the Bible we can find reports about many prophets. Many of them announce the coming of a savior (a “Messiah”). Someone who would free humanity from the disastrous consequences of their sins.
In the gospel of Luke we can read that this Savior is born. His name is Jesus. He was born of a virgin (Mary), who became pregnant by God’s Spirit (see Luke 1), as prophesied by the prophet Isaiah:
You don’t want to ask God for a sign. Therefore, the Lord will give you an unsolicited sign: the girl who is still a virgin will conceive and have a son. She will call him Immanuel [ (= ‘God with us’) ]. Isaiah 7:14
By His birth and during His life, hundreds of prophecies of the Prophets came true. He would be a descendant of David(Jeremiah 23:5, Isaiah 11:1). His birthplace Bethlehem was prophesied by the prophet Micah(Micah 5:1). The Messiah would come, riding on a donkey(Zechariah 9:9). He would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver(Zechariah 11:13). David predicts in the Psalms that His hands and feet will be pierced(Psalm 22:17). All of these predictions become reality during the life of Jesus Christ. There are so many of them that there can be no coincidence or manipulation.
Was Jesus a prophet?
His disciples and many of the people who hear Jesus speaking consider Him to be a prophet, but also to be the long-expected Messiah (Savior);
He asked, “So what?” They said, “Well, what happened to Jesus from Nazareth. He was a prophet. He did and said mighty things for God and all people. Luke 24:19
We truly believe that You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” John 6:69
After Jesus had raised a young man from the dead, He is seen as a prophet by those who are present:
Everyone was deeply impressed by what God had done. They praised God and said, “An important prophet has come to us!” They also said, “God has not forgotten his people!” Luke 7:16
When He goes to Jerusalem just before He will die on the cross, He is welcomed by a large crowd. These people are also convinced that He is a prophet….
And the people answered, “That is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” When He entered Jerusalem, the whole city went into an uproar. Everyone asked, “Then who is that?” Matthew 21:10-11
Jesus claims to be a prophet only once;
Healings and miracles
In the gospels (the eyewitness reports of His followers) we can read that He does all kind of things that no ordinary person can do;
- He turns water into wine
- He heals a young man who is sick in bed miles away
- He heals a man who was paralyzed from birth
- He feeds more than 5,000 people
- He walks on water
- He heals blind people
- He raises several people from the dead (including Lazarus)
- He himself rises from the dead
He shows that He is above the laws of nature, that He has the power to heal people, and even to bring them back from the dead.
Was Jesus then a a prophet and a good teacher, one who is and good example for us or was He more than all that?
Jesus was more than a prophet
Jesus Christ is also called “The Word”. John (one of Jesus’ followers), begins his eyewhitness report with the following words;
In the beginning, the Word was there. The Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself. In the beginning, the Word was with God. All things are made by the Word. Truly everything that is exists because the Word made it. In the Word was life, and the life was the light to men. The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not extinguished it.
God sent a man: John [ the Baptist ] . He had to tell people about the Light. Through him they could come to believe in the Light. He was not himself the Light, but he came to tell about the Light. For He who was the true Light was about to come. And it gives light to every person.
He had made the earth and had now come to the earth Himself. But the people did not recognize Him. He came to the people He Himself had made, but they would not believe in Him. But to all those who do believe in Him, He has given the right to become children of God. [ They are born again ] They are then born not of flesh and blood, and not by the desires of a man, but their spirit is born of God. The Word became a man and He dwelt with us. We have seen how awesome and powerful He is: He, God’s only Son, with the same power as the Father, loving, kind, and full of truth.
John [ the Baptist ] said of Him, “This is the man of whom I spoke. He is the one I meant when I said, ‘The man who comes after me is more important than I am,’ for He was there before I was born.” He is all love, kindness and goodness. Therefore, He is also endlessly loving, kind and good to all of us. Through Moses we have been given the law [ , which teaches us what God requires of us ] . Through Jesus Christ, God’s love, kindness, goodness and truth have come to us.
No one has ever seen God. But His Only Son, who is completely one with Him, has shown us who God is. Gospel of John 1:1-18
All the prophets before Jesus had given signs. Now those predictions became reality: God Himself is coming to earth to carry out His great plan. The plan of salvation by which He made it possible for God to love people without our sins getting in the way. You can read more about this in the main story on this website.
Jesus forgives sins
Jesus not only heals people, He forgives their sins. We can see this in the following examples;
When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralyzed man, “Son, I forgive you all your disobedience to God.” Mark 2:5
And He said to her, “I forgive you for disobeying God.” Luke 7:48
Jesus makes it very clear here that He does not forgive on behalf of God; He forgives the sins of these people on his own authority . No human being can do that. Jesus shows that He Himself is God and has the authority to forgive sins.
By doing so, He claims to be Godly.
The religious leaders wanted Jesus to die because they were afraid of losing their power. They want Him to be judged by the Roman occupiers, but they cannot find any good charges against Him. The only charge they can find is that Jesus claims to be the Son of God, something that something that could be considered an insult to God. Jesus confirms this claim when He is brought to the High Priest (the religious leader);
But Jesus was silent and did not answer. Then the High Priest asked Him again, “Are You the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed God?” Jesus said, “I AM. And you will see the Son of Man when He sits beside Almighty God and comes on the clouds.” Mark 14:61-62
The title “I AM” is the title God uses for Himself. It is an obvious confirmation that Jesus claims to be God Himself;
Then God said to Moses, “My name is I AM. Say to the Israelites, ‘I AM sent me. Exodus 3:14
His followers die for the good news
You might think that Jesus was someone with megalomania who believed that He was godly.
He might even have convinced some people of that. But all the evidence of the fact that He was no ordinary man was so obvious to His followers that they found their lives less important than sharing the good news of Jesus to others. The news that God himself has come to earth to save us.
Except for John, the other 11 disciples of Jesus were martyred and killed for sharing the good news of Jesus. And not only these 11, but many others find their lives less important than their trust in Jesus. When His message was based on lies or doubtful facts, His disciples and many more followers would not have risked their lives to share the good news of salvation.
More about Jesus Christ
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