Christ—Prophet, Priest And King

FFF 10:10 (Oct 1964)

Christ—Prophet, Priest And King

B. Bell

“The Prophet”

When we apply these titles to our Lord Jesus Christ, we are adapting Old Testament terms to New Testament revelation. Moreover, in so doing there is no thought of forming any comparison between Christ and Israel’s past prophets, priests and kings. There always is a contrast between the Perfect Man Christ and all other men. For example, Jonah is an official type of Christ, in His death, burial and resurrection (Matt 12:40), but personally as a man he was a failure through disobedience to the commission that God gave him. Solomon also is a type of Christ in His Glory (Matt 12:42), but he too was a failure through idolatry, and his immoral standard of behaviour.

It is in these three offices, the Prophet, (of whom I am specially writing in this meditation) the Priest, and the King that Christ performs His work for men. The Prophet must function before the King can reign. As Prophet, Christ represents God to men. As Priest, He represents men before God. As King, He brings both God, and men into perfect relationship one to the other. It is as the Man Christ Jesus, that He fills these three offices which present His ministry, in the past during His lifetime, revealing the Father; in the present in Heaven, representing His people; in the future ages, reigning in Glory.

The Lord Jesus Christ claims superiority to all prophets, priests, and kings of the past. In Matthew 12, the Lord declared before men. “A greater than the temple is here,” for He is the greatest Priest (verse 6). “A greater than Jonah is here” (verse 41), for He is the greatest Prophet. “A greater than Solomon is here” (verse 42), for He is the greatest King. God, in ordering His ancient people Israel, decreed that all prophets, priests and kings, be consecrated to their offices by the ceremony of anointing with oil. With this in mind the Father declares the superiority of Christ above all others, saying, “God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows” (Heb. 1:9).

Christ The Prophet

A Prophet is one who tells forth, rather than fore-tells the divine will, and is this not indeed the very purpose for which Christ came into the world? The Promise of Christ as Prophet is found in passages from the Old Testament (Deut. 18:15, etc.). God had in mind His particular Prophet to Israel, and to the world. In our Lord’s days on earth this was the understanding of the people. John the Baptist was asked, “Art thou Elias, art thou that Prophet?” and he answered “No.” On another occasion the people said, “This is of a truth that Prophet, that should come into the world” (John 6:14). Peter in his address in Acts 3 identifies Christ as the Prophet like unto Moses. Stephen also does the same in Acts 7.

Look at the parallel between Christ and Moses. Both were born of the same nation; Moses, when it was oppressed by the Egyptians; Christ when the nation suffered under the Romans. The life of the babe Moses is jeopardized by Pharoah; the life of Jesus by Herod. Moses was spared by the royal family of Egypt; Christ was spared by being taken into Egypt. Moses offered himself as saviour of his people and was rejected; Christ offered Himself as Saviour and King, and He also was rejected. Moses returned as deliverer and established Israel as a nation; our Lord Jesus Christ will return to Israel and sit upon the Throne of His Father David. With the prophets of old, the “Word of the Lord” came unto them; Christ in this respect was unlike all other prophets, for all knowledge, wisdom and power resided in Him. The Word of God did not come to Him for He was the Word of God (John 1, 1, 3). The ministry of Christ as Prophet during the days of His flesh was to reveal the Father to men (Matt 11:27). His prophetic ministry He carries on in the Church by means of the New Testament prophets and apostles. Notice Acts 1:1, “All that Jesus began both to do, and to teach.” The future ministry of Christ as Prophet will be that of revealing the Father to His people (John 16:25). The prophetic ministry of Christ is the burden of the four Gospels. The Scriptures promised a Prophet for Israel, and the world (Deut. 18:15). Moses said, “A Prophet, the Lord thy God shall raise up from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me, unto Him ye shall harken.” This is our Lord Jesus Christ: Prophet, Priest and King.