george hancock-stefanAs Moses was reviewing the story of Israel, the mighty acts of God delivering them from the great Pharaoh and taking across the desert, he spoke these words: The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. (Deut. 18:15)

In the Old Testament pantheon of the Jewish might men, Moses is among the greatest if not the greatest.  Everyone who reads the Pentateuch is impressed by what Moses has accomplished in the power of God.  He knows that the power is not in his shepherd’s staff, but in the Name of God who asked him to come and deliver God’s people.  He knows that the power is not in his linguistic abilities, but in the willingness to open His mouth so that God will speak through Him.  He knows that his kinsmen are stubborn, but is willing to intercede on their behalf when God is willing to destroy them and start a new nation with Moses and his family.

When God tells Moses that he will not set foot in the land of Canaan, he prepares the next generation to go and possess the land.  God chooses Joshua to become the new leader and Moses encourages him to go forward and lead God’s people.

However, Moses is looking beyond the immediate conquest and sees the day when God will raise a prophet like him who will deliver all the nations from the bondage of sin.

In the gospels we have a number of occasions when the people are seeing that this Jesus is a new type of prophet – he is mighty in words and deeds.  He is not only mighty in what he says, but is mighty in his miracles.  There are occasions when the people are wondering who Jesus is because no one has done the miracles that he was able to do.

In a number of times Jesus challenges the people to believe in his works and his mighty words – no one does these things unless God has sent him!

There is a parallel between Moses confronting Pharaoh and Jesus confronting the Pharisees.  He tells the Pharisees and the residents of Jerusalem who rejected him;”You have not known the day of your visitation.”

The Son of God came and the people were stubborn as the pharaoh and his armies.  God is long-patient, but there is an end to his patience.  The end of God’s patience with Pharaoh was the Red Sea and the end of the patience of God with Israel was the destruction of Jerusalem.

At the event known in the New Testament as The Transfiguration, we find that two prophets came to speak to Jesus.  Luke writes: “Two men, Moses and Elijah appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus.  They spoke about his departure which he was about to bring to fulfillment in Jerusalem”. (Luke 9:30-31)  These two prophets had a unique and powerful ministry in their time in the existence of Israel.  Both of them had unique conclusions of their lives here – no one has found the grave where Moses was buried and God has taken Elijah to heaven in a chariot of fire.  While they were on the earth they had a profound relationship with God and constantly challenged the people to serve Jehovah.

Moses asked many times why the people refused to serve God.  Many times he had to plead with God because God was ready to destroy them.  Jesus comes in the same pleading form.  He asks the people of his day: Why don’t you want to come to me and be saved! The evangelist John tells us that Jesus came to his own and his own received him not, but to those who believed in him to them he gave them eternal life and the right to called the sons and daughters of God.

The prophet has come, His name is Jesus Christ.  The prophet has spoken! What have you done with this message?  What are you doing today with the words of God we find in the Holy Scripture?

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Rev. Dr. George Hancock-Stefan

George Hancock-Stefan

Pastor George Hancock-Stefan completed 30 years as the pastor of the great congregation at Central Baptist Church in Atlantic Highlands in 2020. Those 30 years have been a blessed time for him, his wife...