We’ve heard Jesus described as our Prophet, Priest, and King, but have you really thought about that? All three were offices established by God, and each had a purpose; but no one person could be all three. A king could be a prophet (many of King David’s Psalms contain prophecy), but a king could not be a priest. Kings were from the tribe of Judah while priests were from the tribe of Levi. Let’s take a look at each of these offices and see how it’s possible for Jesus to be our Prophet, Priest, and King.
A true prophet is a spokesman for God. Most prophets are men, but there are a few women who are called prophetesses. Prophets were very important to Israel because God spoke through these men. Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and others all spoke amazing prophecies. One special Prophet would be different from the rest.
“The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken…And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him” (Deuteronomy 18:15 & 19).
This, of course, pointed to the Messiah. When Jesus walked the earth, the Pharisees were looking for this special Prophet, and even asked John the Baptist if he was the one.
“And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No” (John 1:19-21).
John knew that he fulfilled some of prophecy, but was only the one who would point to the true Prophet…the Messiah.
Regular people were also aware of a Prophet to come, and many believed that Jesus was that Prophet. One miracle Jesus performed was when he had mercy upon a widow whose only son had died. Jesus had compassion upon her and brought the young man back from the dead.
“And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people” (Luke 7:16).
This story spread like wildfire, and John the Baptist heard it. He sent two men to ask Jesus if He was the One. In answer, Jesus healed people, cast out demons, and gave sight to the blind. He told them to tell John what they had seen. That was Jesus’ way of saying “Yes.”
Once when Peter and John were about to enter the Temple, a lame man asked for money. Instead, Peter gave him what he really needed. In the name of Jesus Christ, he told the man to get up and walk, and the man did. Peter took that opportunity to preach truth to those who saw the miracle. In no uncertain terms, he explained that Jesus was the Messiah and they had called for His crucifixion. He pointed out that Jesus was the Prophet referred to in Deuteronomy.
“For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people” (Acts 3:22-23).
The writer of Hebrews also began by declaring that Jesus is the Prophet.
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in the time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds” (Hebrews 1:1-2).
Jesus is the Prophet foreseen in Deuteronomy.
Don’t look to Chinese fortune cookies, Nostradamus, or any other source to find out the future. They are all false prophets and don’t speak the word of God. On the other hand, Jesus not only spoke the word of God, but He was the Word of God.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:1 & 14).
Don’t be deceived by any false prophet, but look to Jesus Christ.
When the Law was given to Moses, God established the priesthood. The Tribe of Levi was given the duty of tending to the Tabernacle, and later the Temple. The priesthood was specifically given to the sons of Aaron. It was the duty of the priests to make the sacrifices and intercede between the people and God. Once a year, one priest was chosen as the high priest; on the Day of Atonement, he would enter into the most holy place where the Ark of the Covenant was kept, and placed the blood of the sacrificed animal on the Ark of the Covenant.
“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, This is it that belongeth unto the Levites: from twenty and five years old and upward they shall go in to wait upon the service of the tabernacle of the congregation: and from the age of fifty years they shall cease waiting upon the service thereof, and shall serve no more: but shall minister with their brethren in the tabernacle of the congregation to keep the charge, and shall do no service. Thus shalt thou do unto the Levites touching their charge” (Numbers 8:23-26).
Aaron was a Levite, and he was the first high priest, and the priesthood would follow through his line, subject to the age restriction.
Do you see a problem here? How could Jesus, who was from the Royal line of Judah, qualify to be our priest? Also, if He is a priest forever, what about the age restriction? God always makes a way. The title of priest isn’t unique to Jewish Law. Pagan temples had priests (Satan always tries to corrupt things that are of God), and we know that Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, was a priest, as disclosed in Exodus 3:1. Of course, that was prior to the Law being given. There is an even older priest mentioned in Scripture. In a prophetic Psalm about the coming Messiah, David wrote:
“The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek” (Psalm 110:4; also quoted in Hebrews 5:5-6).
The writer of Hebrews recalls the event (Genesis 14:18) which happened long before the twelve tribes of Israel were established. Abraham met a man named Melchizedek, who was a king and a priest. He is described as “Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually” (Hebrews 7:3).
There’s a debate as to whether Melchizedek was an Old Testament appearance of Jesus or just a man but, at the very least, he was a picture of the everlasting Priesthood of Jesus.
Under the Law, only the high priest could approach the Ark of the Covenant once a year and put the sacrificial blood of an animal on it to atone for the sins of the people. That’s no longer necessary.
“But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:11-14).
Because of Jesus Christ, we no longer need priests to go between us and God. Through Jesus Christ, we have access to God’s throne.
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
Don’t let anyone persuade you that you need a man-made priest to go between you and the Father. The only Priest you need is Jesus, and it’s only to Him you need to confess.
“For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, Every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God” (Romans 14:11).
Only Jesus, God incarnate, can forgive sin.
The nation of Israel wanted to be like other nations. They wanted a king. When the time was right, God would provide a king, but they weren’t willing to wait. So, Saul was made the temporary king. He didn’t qualify…he was from the tribe of Benjamin, not Judah, and his heart was far from God. People get less than God’s best when they go their own way rather than waiting upon God’s better plan. David was God’s chosen one; and when the time was right, he became king over Israel. He was from the tribe of Judah, and the spirit of Samuel told Saul he would no longer be king and described David as a Godly man.
“But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be a captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee” (1 Samuel 13:14).
David wasn’t perfect, but his heart’s desire was to please God. When he sinned, he was broken over that sin. God told the prophet Nathan to tell David that his throne would be established for ever
“And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever” (2 Samuel 7:16).
When the angel visited Mary and told her she would give birth to the Messiah, he confirmed this.
“He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:32-33).
Jesus’ earthly heritage was through King David, and He is the rightful King forever.
Had the Jewish people accepted Him as their Messiah, the last 2,000 years would have been quite different. Jesus had been illegally arrested, and Pilate presented Him to the mob as their king. Instead of embracing Him, they rejected Him.
“But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar” (John 19:15).
They were looking for a conquering king who would save them from earthly troubles, but they didn’t understand that in His first appearance He conquered death.
“So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? Or grave, where is thy victory. The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:54-57).
Jesus will return; and when He does, He will be the conquering King that they wanted the first time. Anyone who rejects Him today will face His judgment. Only faith in His death, burial, and resurrection can make a person worthy to avoid His wrath. When He comes again, everyone who has ever lived will understand who He is. At the judgment they will bow before Him.
Jesus will return soon. In the last 2,000 years, many people have come to know Him as Lord and Saviour. There will be a final battle which will bring an end to the Great Tribulation. Christians will have been Raptured prior to the Tribulation, and we will be with Jesus as those who follow Satan fight against God.
“These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful” (Revelation 17:14).
If you want to be with Him on that day of battle instead of against Him, you need to make your decision today.
Christians are made kings and priests in Him.
“And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen” (Revelation 1:5-6).
The office of priest and king has been united in Christ and opened to Gentiles. Christians are now priests and kings under His authority. The Rapture is coming soon. It will happen prior to the Great Tribulation, and you must decide today if you will follow Christ or reject Him. If you’ve accepted the blood sacrifice of our Great High Priest, then submit to Him now as your King. Let Him reign in your heart.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at https://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is “theopneustos” – God breathed.
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