The Bible is about one thing, or rather, one Person: Jesus Christ. He is not easy to find when one picks up the Bible and begins reading in Genesis, but He’s there. The Bible is the original inspiration for the ‘twist at then end’ literary device. Think about it–you watch a movie like The Sixth Sense, and there’s that huge reveal at the end, and then you go back and think about all the things that make sense from the rest of the movie in light of the plot twist at the end. Until Jesus Christ is revealed as the long expected Messiah, the Old Testament seems like a collection of history books, but when Christ comes on the scene, suddenly it all makes sense! The offspring that will crush Satan–and now, the Prophet that Moses spoke of.
Jesus was to be the light for revelation to the Gentiles, and everyone knew it. It would be like … I don’t know what to compare it to, because nothing compares. A story that everyone knows, only it’s not a story, it’s reality. Here’s a neat quote from the book:
We see the same thing illustrated in Jesus’ conversation with the unnamed Samaritan woman he met at Jacob’s well. Such an expectation (as Calvin also notes) “had spread even beyond the realms of the faithful, and had infiltrated the minds of the Samaritans.” She knew enough theology to be able to say to Jesus, “When [the Messiah comes], he will tell us all things.” What a fascinating statement from an unlikely source! Here is a Samaritan woman who has already had multiple husbands and now has a live-in lover. She meets this Jewish stranger at the well, and an unexpected conversation begins. It is really remarkable, isn’t it? As Jesus speaks to her, she immediately responds, “I can see that you are a prophet.” And then as the dialogue continues, she seeks, as it were, to put an end to it all by simply telling this stranger this whole thing will get sorted out when the Messiah comes. “Because when he comes—all of this will become absolutely clear.” Little did she expect Jesus’ response: “I who speak to you am he.”
“O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. Now, none of the other prophets could say that, could they? Jesus is the embodiment of all that the prophets have previously said. Essentially, Jesus is able to take the Scriptures as they are, open them up, and say: “Do you see? This is a book about me. This whole book is about me!”
And now, we proclaim His Word, so that all may hear. He is the Word, He is the source, the subject, and the Prophet who proclaimed Himself to us–the ignorant. And now we share it with others. But we shouldn’t simply share–one of the points that was brought up in the book is the difference between lecturing and preaching, and it was a quote from John Murray, “preaching is a personal, passionate plea,” that caught the attention of a friend of mine. We should share Christ in such a way that there is a personal, passionate plea for one to be reconciled to God. And this is the way we should raise our children. Our job is not simply to produce good little robots who can perform a certain task or two, and get by in this world. Our job is to proclaim the gospel to our children throughout the course of their lives, and to plead with them to be reconciled to God until we are sure they are, or we have no breath left in us. And the same should be said of all those we come into contact with.
This is not just for the pulpit and the big public occasion. This is for the grocery store, for the golf course, for the coffee shop. Wherever we tell others about the Lord Jesus, through God’s power and with an awareness that Christ himself is the great prophet of God, we say—in our own words—“I implore you. Be reconciled to God. Receive the reconciliation that he has provided.” And when God begins to work, people say, “I didn’t know about that; tell me more.”
When God begins to work. Never forget that part. It’s not you doing the work, it’s God. Plenty of people will reject the message, and reject God, but there is no guilt on your part for that. God is completely sovereign in all things. I know there are a lot of people who find that difficult to believe, but if you search the Scriptures, you will find that it’s the truth. So we share the gospel with boldness tempered with compassion given to us by Jesus Christ.
And may we never forget to give Him the honor that is due:
As Christ’s ministry now begins to unfold, we see that the designation “prophet” is inadequate to fully express the wonder of all he is and does. That is why we should never think of him as prophet except in the context of his threefold office. His prophetic ministry must never be isolated from his other two offices, as if somehow or another we could view Christ as prophet apart from his also being priest and king.
I cannot wait for chapter three!