The Old Testament is filled with recurring themes and figures that point us toward Jesus, and that Jesus is the ultimate fulfillment of. Within the religious and social life of God’s people, there were three essential roles that all in some way foreshadowed Christ. One of those was the role, or office, of the prophet. So let’s look at how Jesus fulfilled this role.
The role of the prophet in the life of God’s people was to serve as a spokesperson or mediators for God. Prophets communicated God’s will to the people, encouraged them in faithfulness and called them to repentance when they turned away from God.
The first of Israel’s prophets was Moses, who gave the people the Law, and led them through their 40-year journey in the wilderness. When Moses reached the end of his life, he told the Israelites that God would raise up another prophet like him from among the people. He was the one they were to listen to. And after he died, God did raise up more prophets including Samuel, Nathan, Elijah, Isaiah, and Jeremiah.
But as time went on, there came to be an expectation of a final prophet. And the New Testament writers explicitly draw the connection between this prophet that Moses promised and Jesus.
Jesus fulfills the role of prophet in that He alone is the ultimate teacher, who has the words of eternal life, as John 6:68 says. But Jesus is unique in the role of prophet because He doesn’t just communicate God’s will. Jesus is the very Word of God, and God’s ultimate revelation of Himself.