What is a prophet?
Many people think of a prophet as a fortune teller; someone that predicts that future. I came to find out that predicting the future was a small part of a prophet’s job. Through my research and study, I found that prophets from the Christian Bible talked more about the present and finding the right way back to God.
Who were the prophets?
According to the website, www.theologyofwork.org Introduction of Prophets-
Called by God and filled with God’s Spirit, a prophet spoke God’s word to the people who had in one way or another distanced themselves from God. In one sense, a prophet is a preacher. But in marketplace terms, a prophet is often a whistle blower, particularly when an entire tribe or nation has turned away from God.
Do you think prophets exist today? Where would we find them? Could we use them?
Prophets of the Old Testament wrote and spoke of John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth. John was connected to Elijah in the Gospel of Luke. That John the Baptist fulfilled Malachi’s prophecy of being a forerunner to Jesus. John baptized people in the Jordan River, the same place as Elijah did his work, and similarities did not end there. John the Baptist’s lifestyle was also similar to Elijah’s.
The Old Testament Scripture of Isaiah, chapter 13 predicts Jesus’s coming. It highlights a man coming to save the people of Isaiah’s contemporaries. “Then the eyes of the blind shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.” The same theme is repeated in the following Psalm-“The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts those who are bowed down. The Lord sets the prisoners free. Theme is continued in the Gospel of Matthew.
In the Gospel of Matthew, John the Baptist is in prison. He sends word via his disciples to see if Jesus is the one that they have been waiting for. Jesus answers John. “Go and tell john what you hear and see; the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense to me.” Jesus then turned to the crowds and started to talk about John the Baptist. He asked what did they expect to see in the wilderness? Someone in soft robes. They would be wrong, as you would only find people dressed like that in royal palaces. John was chosen as messenger. It was prophesied that John would prepare the way of Jesus. John was it.
Did the people that followed Jesus and John the Baptist really understand? Jesus and John knew who they were as people. They knew of each other but had not met. I think John knew that Jesus was the one, and the word sent back confirmed what he knew. By Jesus’ words in the Gospel, he knew John the Baptist and his disciples were the Advance team. But…were their disciples uncertain of the other. Was there a fear of competition?
John the Baptist knew who he was and who he was not. According to the Gospel of John, He was not Christ, not Elijah, and not the prophet, but the voice of one crying in the wilderness. The Gospel of John makes this reference to Isaiah 40:3.
All four of the Gospels make references to prophets of the Old Testament. Prophets played a huge role. Note that, it had been at least four hundred years since a foretelling. John the Baptist was seen as a prophet for the New Testament. He is set apart. Not just by his looks or his lifestyle. He played a large role and baptism was the method that he used in his ministry. John was humble. Perhaps he indeed knew his place. John prepared the people for Jesus; he communicated the importance of Christ. He even baptized Jesus, which inaugerated Jesus’ ministry. John perhaps lived on the fringes. He did not see himself as above. John knew who he was and knew who Jesus was. Is John the Baptist still important today? Indeed he is.