Prophet

PIAZZETTA Giovanni Battista | Elijah Taken Up in the Chariot of Fire. | | Italian | Baroque

40 Names of Jesus in 40 days of Lent — Day 26

And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honour, except in his home town and among his relatives and in his own household.”

Mark 6:4 ESVUK

An interesting name here, as Prophet is a title Jesus used of himself. But what is a prophet?

The Old Testament prophets were a strange bunch. Hosea was told to marry a prostitute to show how God felt that Israel was always deserting him. Ezekiel and John the Baptist (not strictly Old Testament) lived out in the wilderness. Isaiah had to walk around naked and barefoot for three years as a sign of the wickedness of Egypt and Ethiopia, nations who would be led naked and barefoot into captivity in Assyria. It must have been a sight when Isaiah walked into the Temple in those years sky-clad.

What a prophet was not was a predictor of the future. The role of the prophet was to speak the word of God now, to say what God was saying to the people in the present time. That is why in the Jewish ordering of the Bible the book of Daniel is among the writings, not the prophets because Daniel is a book about the future. There is talk about the future in other prophetic Bible books, but that is not their main function, that function is to say, “Thus says the Lord.”

So when Jesus is calling himself a prophet he is saying that he is speaking the words of God directly. What Jesus says is what God says, there is no difference at all.

Christians have the same Holy Spirit that fell on Jesus at his baptism. Maybe if we listened to the Holy Spirit we could be more prophetic too.

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