Christ is Better than the Prophets
Text: Hebrews 1:1-3
Long ago God used prophets to deliver His message. This message was not delivered all at once; instead, God gave out portions at various times as needed (I Peter 1:10-12). The method of delivery also varied with situations. With Moses, God spoke directly, but with most prophets, the meaning was hidden from even the prophet delivering the message (Numbers 12:6-8).
In contrast, the New Testament was taught by one person – Christ Jesus (John 14:6). The apostles and prophets delivered Jesus’ words, clarifying the message.
“These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you” (John 14:25-26).
“I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you” (John 16:12-15).
Jesus’ teachings came in these last days. There are no further eras in the world. Jesus came at the cumulation of all prior teachings to bring God’s final remarks (Galatians 4:4; Ephesians 1:10; Jude 3). Jesus brings together all the loose ends of the past. By declaring that these are the last days, the writer declares that Isaiah 2:2 and Micah 4:1 have been fulfilled. It would bring to mind that it is at this period that God declared, “Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king; and they will come trembling to the LORD and to His goodness in the last days” (Hosea 3:5).
Jesus’ position in the world is greater than any prophet of the past. He is the heir of all things; that is, everything that exists is for his benefit and ultimately belongs to him. No human prophet could ever make such a claim.
God also made the world through Jesus. This is actually a bold claim to a Jewish audience. The Old Testament starts out stating that God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1). We see the Spirit of God moving in the creation in Genesis 1:2. But where is the Son? It is in John that we are given a hint. Jesus was the Word (John 1:1-3), through which all things came into being. When we look back at the creation, each day involves God declaring and it became so. Jesus was the Word of God bringing into existence the creation (Colossians 1:16). The Hebrew writer hints at this when speaking of the word of Jesus’ power.
To be at the Creation also implies that Jesus pre-existed all things (Colossians 1:17). No human prophet has a life that reaches back to before the beginning of the world. And Jesus’ involvement continues as the world is upheld by his power.
What was delivered in the past through prophets was a mystery. It was an incomplete revelation. Not so the revelation of Christ. For example, we see only bits and pieces of God’s nature in the Old Testament, but in the New Testament Jesus is the exact representation of God and shows God’s full glory (John 1:14; II Corinthians 4:4; Colossians 1:15,19; 2:9). Thus, it was not a second-hand revelation but God revealed himself directly to mankind (II Corinthians 4:6). Jesus could do this because he was there with God in eternity.
While the prophets of the past spoke about the problem of sin, they could not offer a solution for it, only that sin would be conquered in the future. However, Jesus was the solution to the problem of sin (John 1:29; I John 3:5). It is by his death that we were purged and made free of sin (I John 1:7; Romans 6:3-7).
While the prophets each have died, Jesus did not remain dead. He is alive, reigning in heaven at the right hand of the Father (Mark 16:19; Romans 8:34; Ephesians 1:20-22; Colossians 3:1; I Peter 3:22).
- Islam and Mormonism both claim to have prophets whose words supersede the teachings of Jesus Christ. How reasonable are these claims?
- List out eight characteristics of Jesus that makes him superior to all human prophets.