Posts Tagged With: prophet

Who is Jesus? The Prophet… The Priest… and the King!

One of the biggest challenges that we as believers in Christ will face today is trying to answer what would seem to be an easy question. This question is, “Who is Jesus?” Unfortunately today, “There are many misconceptions concerning the Lord Jesus Christ. False religions have portrayed Jesus Christ as everything from a space alien to merely a myth. Many people believe that Jesus was only a prophet” (Stewart). So how does one combat these misconceptions? As grandiose as many people would like to believe, not everyone that enters ministry will be the senior pastor of a mega-church. Therefore, we as Christ followers should be more realistic and error on the side of personal interaction. This begins by having full knowledge of how we would answer the question of Christ’s identify to the unbeliever on the street. Therefore, for one to truly know who Jesus is, they must come to identify Him through the offices He held. As this article will show, to know Christ is to recognize what it means for Jesus to have held the offices of the prophet, the priest, and the king.

As God’s ultimate messenger, it should come as no surprise that Jesus was labeled as a prophet. Unfortunately, today the confusion begins when man redefines the meaning of prophets to correspond with their own inability to understand. In doing so, they weaken the meaning of the term. In scripture, biblical prophets were identified as individuals whom God conveyed His message through. When looking at Christ’s role, we see that as a prophet, His public ministry was profoundly impacted. Jesus was so determined to speak to the people that He would travel from synagogue to synagogue. He did this so that He could tell of the good news of the forthcoming Kingdom. Jesus not only declared the good news, “He also challenged the sinfulness of people and their hard-heartedness against God, especially pointing out the hypocrisy of religious leaders” (Thorsen 202). Clearly, Jesus had an encouraging prophetic ministry; so prophetic that He even told of a future day when He would return. “‘My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am’” (John 14:2-3).

The priestly office of Christ was dramatically different from that of a prophet messenger. In today’s culture a priest is known as an intercessor or bridge between God and humanity. While in early biblical times, the priest was responsible for offering sacrifices to God on the behalf of others. Although different time periods, these definitions of a priest seem fitting for the sacrifice that Christ provided to atone for humanities sins. Furthermore, prior to Christ’s death, part of the Jews religious beliefs centered upon sacrificing animals. When viewing Christ as High Priest, “He actually combines two institutions of the sacrificial system: He is the priest who offers the sacrifice and He is the sacrifice. He did not enter Heaven with the blood of animals but through His own blood, and as a result, we are sanctified once and for all” (Eckman). With Christ’s atonement for our sins, the need for Levitical sacrifices to compensate for man’s sins are no longer needed. In its place, comes a new covenant relationship between God and man provided by the priestly office of our Savior Jesus Christ.

The third office that Christ holds is that of King. Unlike earthly kings that establish their reign through force and intimidation, Jesus’ rule was not established by instilling fear in the hearts of men. “His kingdom is not physical in regard to His people, but one in which they choose to become a part of His kingdom by placing themselves under His Lordship, voluntarily; turning away from serving the god of this world, Lucifer” (Renz). The reason that Christ’s kingship is so widely accepted is because it is based upon four facets of His life; His reign was predicted, presented, proclaimed, and it is preeminent. From the very beginning, the Book of Genesis predicts Christ’s birth by a woman, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (Genesis 3:15). Next, Christ’s kingship is presented numerous times in the New Testament. In fact, “Matthew refers to Jesus as king 14 times, Mark refers to Him as king 6 times, Luke refers to Him as king 5 times, and John refers to Him as king 14 times” (Renz). Thirdly, Christ Himself makes the first proclamation of His kingship in the Gospel of Mark where He claims, “‘The time has come,’ He said. ‘The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!’” (Mark 1:15). Last, Christ can only be our King if one makes a choice. We must allow Him to reign over our hearts by allowing Him to sit on the throne of our lives. For as the scriptures confirm, “In him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4).

In the confines of ministry, no matter if you are a theological major or saved for only one day, there is substantial biblical evidence to support and help all Christians convey who Jesus Christ is. Yet for some reason, many still feel that they do not have the communication skills needed to minister to others. However, what they fail to realize is that, “When the gospel of Jesus Christ is proclaimed, it does ‘not come by itself,’ that is ‘simply with words.’ Rather, when God’s Word is preached it is accompanied by work of the Holy Spirit” (Malone). Without the Holy Spirit working inside us, no extent of eloquent words will lead men and women to an act of repentance before the Lord. Therefore, one should place less emphasis on our words trying to bring forth personal transformation, and keep in mind that the weapon we bare to wage war in the spiritual battle is the Sword of the Spirit (The Bible).

In summary, Jesus Christ has come to be identified by many different titles. And at times, some have even referred to Him as just a good man. Yet for those of us who believe in Christ, we recognize that for one to truly know who Jesus is, one must come to identify Him through the offices that He held; the offices of the prophet, the priest, and the king. Two-thousand years has passed since Jesus Christ has left this earth, yet many still do not know the answer to one of life’s most important questions, “Who is Jesus?” It is a question that even Jesus Himself asked of His own disciples, “‘But who do you say that I am?’” And while we may not have a front row seat before Jesus today, rest assured as you walk out amongst the world you will have just as many chances to answer this question. It may come in the form of your next-door neighbor, your boss, your postman, or even the barista at your local coffee house. But it will be just as important as answering it directly before Christ. The only question that remains then, when faced with these opportunities, “Who will you say that He is?”

Building HIS Kingdom One Soul at a Time…

Pastor Steve

Works Cited:
Eckman, David. “Christ the High Priest.” Whatgodintended.com. 2011. Web. April 21, 2011.

Malone, Kelly. “Evangelism and Proclaiming The Gospel of Jesus Christ In A Fallen World.” Crosswalk.com. September 07, 2007. Web. April 21, 2011.

Renz, Art. “Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” Hissheep.org. 2011. Web. April 21, 2011.

Stewart, David J. “Misconceptions Concerning Christ.” Jesus-is-savior.com. 2011. Web. April 21, 2011.

Thorsen, Don. An Exploration of Christian Theology. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2010. Print.

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Categories: Jesus Christ | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Jeremiah Wasn’t Just a Bullfrog…

This morning I was reading in the book of Jeremiah. As I read, I realized there is a reason that not many sermons are ever preached from this book. In short, who wants to read a book as depressing as this one? Not to mention, Jeremiah does not take that “feel-good” approach to living, but rather it takes an in-your-face call to “do-right” approach. Unfortunately, we are now living in times that it doesn’t take much effort to look around and find the same conditions that Jeremiah was faced with. Our culture has the same, if not more, trappings of religion while showing very little devotion to our Heavenly Father.

From the West Coast to the East, every city, small town, or suburb is filled with churches; and our airwaves and televisions are becoming increasingly more over-crowded with preachers telling us how to live a fulfilled life. More concern seems to go into slick marketing techniques to attract new believers to our worship services; yet, the underlying issue is that while we may convince ourselves that we’re doing God’s will, the reality is that our efforts are more centered on our works and not God’s power. What’s my point? Just like the days that Jeremiah lived, today there is no lack of priests or prophets. A person can hop from one church to the next until they find the right church that tickles their ear and allows them to live with no conviction or accountability.

In today’s dimming society, as a Christian, don’t you just feel like you’re facing an unachievable win in the battle concerning spiritual warfare? It just seems the more we speak out regarding God’s truth, the more defeated we feel. A good example of that was seen a few months back when Kirk Cameron came under-fire for his stance on homosexuality and gay marriage. The reality is, God never tells us that living a Christian life is going to be easy. In fact, the more this culture changes, the more daunting it’s becoming to stand in a fallen world alone. And that’s the depressing part; at times we feel like we’re the only one fighting these battles for Christ.

If you haven’t done so in awhile, I would encourage you to read through the book of Jeremiah; yes, it’s long being the second longest book in the Bible. However, we as Christ’s followers can take a lot away from this book’s underlying messages. For just as we can feel it today, when it came to speaking God’s truth, Jeremiah stood alone as well. As I was reading this morning, I came to realize that there are many similarities that we can discover about our lives today and the life that Jeremiah once lived. In his life, Jeremiah was witness to the moral decay of the nation of Judah and eventually saw its demise firsthand. Jeremiah was a prophet who time after time warned Judah of God’s coming judgment.  Jeremiah stood face to face with the people of Judah conveying the announcement of an upcoming disaster, yet no one would stand with him – except the Lord. It is said he was not afraid to speak to anyone; he spoke to kings and to the common folk; in fact, the Bible states that he held no punches and was forceful with his words. Yet, he felt defeated and went home to weep over their hardness of hearts. Yes, ministry is tough.

But fear not, our Father in heaven is fully aware and by your side. That’s why He proclaims, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:11-13). In the days ahead, we have an assignment. God is giving each one of us the same job description He once gave to Jeremiah, “To uproot and teardown, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant” (Jeremiah 1:10). Just like Jeremiah, seeing continued disobedience to the Lord is going to be heartbreaking. But the more time we spend with our Heavenly Father in prayer and in His Word, the easier it will be. Let me leave you with this one thought, “The person who has the courage to speak boldly for God does not obtain it quickly. They develop it by spending time alone with God in humility and sometimes in tears…” Never give up! Keep fighting the good fight and remember, don’t worry about the masses. Just concentrate on Building His Kingdom One Soul at a Time…

Pastor Steve

Categories: Daily Living, The Church | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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