JOHN 8:12-30 DECEMBER 11, 2016
“THE SPOKESMAN FOR GOD”
I have been observing the process that President elect Trump has been using in making his selections for the different cabinet and white house positions. One of the open positions is that of the White House Spokesperson. This individual will speak for the president on a daily basis on most matters of importance. This is a very important and sensitive position. In much the same way God used various individuals as his spokespersons. The person holding this position does not seek out the job but is called by God.
Moses spoke to the people in Deuteronomy reminding them of how God had interacted with them. Deuteronomy 18:15-18, 21-22 (NIV) “15 The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. 16 For this is what you asked of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, “Let us not hear the voice of the LORD our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die.” 17 The LORD said to me: “What they say is good. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him… 21 You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?” 22 If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.” Thus began the office of the prophet who is identified as one who speaks forth from God. It is the LORD who calls one to be a prophet and God provides the words he wants spoken to the people.
After the return of the Jewish people from Babylon to the Promised Land a period of 400 years passed before the appearance of John the Baptist. It is understandable why the people were excited that a prophet came to Israel speaking in behalf of God. Matthew 3:1-3 (NIV) “1 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” 3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.'”
Jesus began his ministry with a special anointing as prophets were often anointed like Elijah. Elijah anointed Elisha to succeed him as a prophet. (I Kings 19:17) Luke 3:21-22 (NIV) “21 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” Jesus was anointed at the baptism by the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon him.
Listen to the words of Jesus as he began his ministry and you can see that Jesus fulfilled the office of a prophet. Luke 4:17-21 (NIV) “17 The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, 21 and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Thus, Jesus was speaking for God, and he is God.
Jesus was immediately acknowledged to be a prophet by the people, if not by the religious leadership. John 1:45 (NIV) “45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote–Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Now listen to how the disciples of Jesus spoke of Jesus on the road to Emmaus after Jesus was crucified. Luke 24:19-27 (NIV) 19 “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. … 25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
Why is this important? We need to understand that Jesus fulfilled in every way all that the Messiah was prophesied to be. We are still called to believe the messenger sent to us from God. John 8:25-30 (NIV) 25 “Who are you?” they asked. “Just what I have been claiming all along,” Jesus replied. 26 “I have much to say in judgment of you. But he who sent me is reliable, and what I have heard from him I tell the world.” 27 They did not understand that he was telling them about his Father. 28 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am [the one I claim to be] and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. 29 The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.” 30 Even as he spoke, many put their faith in him.”
If one believes that Jesus was a prophet, then we must listen to him and obey the commands of God. If anything that a prophet said was not true then he would be a false prophet. However, everything Jesus said was true and he fulfilled every prophecy that every prophet had spoken. John 15:10-11 (NIV) “10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
We in the church celebrate Christmas because in all of history there has been no one greater than the Son of God, Emmanuel (God with us), who was and is the prophet sent to us from God. Two women were having lunch in an elegant hotel dining room. A mutual friend approached them and asked what the occasion was for the elaborate meal. One lady replied, “We are celebrating the birth of my baby boy.” The friend, looking around, inquired, “But, where is he?” The mother replied, “Oh! You didn’t think I would bring him, did you?” Many people seek to celebrate the birth of Jesus by leaving him out. It just doesn’t make sense, does it? Jesus is the reason for the season and we need to remind all people of Jesus, the prophet, the Son of God, sent to us from our Creator to save us from our sins.
Let us pray.