When most people hear the term “prophet” they think of someone proclaiming something about the future (usually a message of doom). Undoubtedly, insight concerning the future is an ability seen in the prophet. However, defining the prophet as a “future teller” is like defining a parent as a “cook”– while it may capture something of the role, it fails to take into consideration much of what they do. In other words, the prophet does more than offer insight into the future. Oh, and there is one other teensie-weensie thing this prophet pigeon-holing fails to consider– the prophet’s purpose! Just because a prophet may have insight into the future does not mean their purpose is simply “to tell the future” any more than a parent’s cooking defines the parent’s purpose as “to cook.” Limiting the prophet to that of “future teller” (or any other thing they do) is to strip the role of its true meaning and its power. Unfortunately though, much of what we see in the Church today regarding the office and gift of prophet is as if their role and purpose was comprised of future-telling. To regain a more holistic perspective on the prophet, we turn to, not just any prophet, but The Prophet- Jesus!
Oddly, but understandably, we don’t often think of Jesus as a prophet, but he clearly spoke of himself as and was considered a prophet (e.g., Lk 4:24; Lk 13:33 & Lk 24:19). Understandably, because, contrary to some claims, Jesus is also much more than a prophet! While I understand this concern, what is more concerning is what happens to the role of the prophet (and the way people try to live it today) when we fail to keep Jesus in view. It is my contention then, that in order to regain a biblical perspective on the role and purpose of the prophet, we must take a step back and consider Jesus, The Greatest Prophet! I guarantee you, just as a parent is more than a cook, a prophet is much more than a “future teller!”
Rather than a “future teller,” it is much closer to say a prophet is one who calls people to live God’s future- NOW!
Please join us this Saturday at 5:30 as we discuss Jesus the Greatest Prophet!