He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward…(Mathew 10:40-41)
We’ve looked at what it means for Jesus Christ to be our Advocate (High Priest), now we’re gonna look at what it means for us to be His advocates. This is gonna be a wild ride, so let’s dive into what it means to be a prophet!
As Jesus is prepping His disciples for their ministry as apostles, He gives them different reasons why they shouldn’t fear opposition. First, they shouldn’t fear people because they would be vindicated when God made it obvious that their message of Jesus is true. Second, they shouldn’t fear people because God knew them and cared for them deeply, even numbering the hairs on their head! Right in the middle of this, Jesus stops and explains that being His disciple means denying themselves and putting Him above family, friends, even their own lives! Third, they shouldn’t fear people because their courage would be rewarded in Heaven, where Jesus Himself would praise them before God. And lastly, whoever receives them because of their preaching would essentially be receiving Jesus who sent them.
Prophets are often called man of God in the Old Testament, because they had a unique relationship with the Lord; to reject or accept them was to reject or accept the One who sent them! One great example of this is when the prophet Elijah is taken in by a widow who’s on the verge of starving, and their household is blessed with an abundant supply of food (1 Kings 17:8-16)! In essence, the prophet was God’s representative on Earth, and their identity was now wrapped up in His. The same is true for us as prophets in Christ! We are called to die to ourselves and live for Jesus; He must increase, we must decrease (John 3:30). When we place our faith in Jesus, what’s true of Him becomes true of us! His life becomes our life, His mission becomes our mission, His heartbeat becomes our heartbeat. On the flip side, how people respond to us is really how they’re responding to Christ! That’s how closely Jesus associates Himself with us, His prophets!
So, what is it that moves us to do something like that? Why would we lay aside our lives to take up His? Because that’s exactly what He did for us. The greatest revelation of God’s mercy and love is the Gospel, where God Himself steps down from glory, becomes a Man, and dies in order to rescue us from our destruction! It’s that mercy and love that the Holy Spirit brings to our hearts when we trust in Christ. It compels us to take up our cross, crucify ourselves with Christ, and live as His ambassadors (Galatians 2:20)! When the apostle Paul is encouraging the Roman church to give themselves as living sacrifices to God, his reasoning is God’s mercy; His great love for them motivates their dedication to Him (Romans 12:1).
For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.(2 Corinthians 5:14-15)