So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;(Isaiah 55:11)
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
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!
When Jesus comes to Nazareth, His hometown, He teaches and heals in the synagogue that He probably grew up in. Because the people there have known Him since He was a kid, their familiarity becomes a stumbling block, stopping them from realizing who He truly is! Because of their doubt, He doesn’t do very many miracles among them, and says that a prophet is usually dishonored among those who know them well. Then, Herod hears about Jesus and falsely believes it’s John the Baptist reincarnated. Turns out, he’d imprisoned John for speaking out against his adultery, and later had him beheaded. Both Jesus and John were prophets without honor.
The Old Testament prophets praised God for being faithful and true to His word, whether judgment or blessing: if He promised to pour out His wrath on Israel’s sin, He meant it; if He promised to deal lovingly with them, His grace would outweigh their disobedience! For them, it wasn’t just the hope that grounded them, it was the core of their message. Despite Israel’s shortcomings, even their own, the Lord would still go through with His good plans! Isaiah worships the Lord for being true to His covenant, bringing justice on wicked Judah in order to purify them (Isaiah 25:1); Balaam tries to prophesy a curse on Israel but can’t because God has declared them blessed, which is irreversible (Numbers 23:19); Malachi says the only reason Israel hasn’t been consumed by the fire of the Lord’s judgment is because He isn’t fickle or changing (Malachi 3:6). As prophets in Christ, this should be the heart of our preaching: the God of the universe is always true to His word! He will judge sin and evil severely, but He will completely forgive and embrace all who come to Him through His Son! We stress repentance (turning from our way to God’s way) because His righteous judgment is promised (Galatians 6:7), but so is His mercy and grace in Jesus Christ (Romans 8:1).
But wait, there’s more! This beautiful promise doesn’t just move us to action, it keeps us grounded and firm while we’re out on the battlefield! For me personally, it’s encouraging to know that no matter how many times I stumble, no matter how things look, I know for sure my Abba Father doesn’t change and His love never fails (James 1:17). I know for sure that my gifts and calling can never be taken away because once God has spoken, it’s final (Romans 11:29)! Not only will He judge sin and forgive in Christ, but He will sustain and deliver His children as they face the trials and tribulations of this world! Through the prophet Ezekiel, God tells Israel that, even though they ruined His good name among the nations because of their sin, He would bring them out of Exile and restore them to their home; He would forgive and purify them, putting His Spirit in them so they could truly obey Him. But He wasn’t doing any of this because of them, He was actually doing it in spite of them, to glorify Himself (Ezekiel 36:22-32)! Israel’s disobedience and failure didn’t hinder God from accomplishing His purposes, and neither do ours or anyone else’s. That’s good news!
- As prophets, the anchor that grounds us and the message that moves us is God’s unparalleled, flawless integrity and faithfulness to His word! Whether it’s judgment or grace, the Lord has a perfect track record for going through with His plans. Praise God for His immoveable, unshakable will, which strengthens us in our daily walk with Christ! The prophets, then and now, are uplifted by and testify to their Faithful and True God!
Now I saw Heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.(Revelation 19:11)