God explained that he would raise up a prophet like Moses: “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him. For this is what you asked of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, ‘Let us not hear the voice of the Lord our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die’” (Deuteronomy 18:15–16).
Jesus explained that Moses wrote about him: “But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?” (John 5:45–47)
Thinking about a prophet and his ministry, what does the prophet do? The prophet encourages those who follow after God and announces warnings to those who do not. The true prophet of God, when speaking of the future, foretold with perfect accuracy. Like other true prophets, Jesus spoke words of encouragement for those who followed God as well as warnings for those who did not. And like other true prophets, Jesus predicted the future with accuracy. These descriptions apply to all the prophets, but like Moses, Jesus uniquely spoke with God face to face. He was indeed the “prophet like Moses” who was to come. Isaac Watts wrote about the threefold offices of Christ, the first verse of his hymn declaring,
We bless the Prophet of the Lord
That comes with truth and grace;
Jesus, thy Spirit and thy word
Shall lead us in thy ways.
Hosannah to his glorious name,
Who saves by diff’rent ways!
His mercies lay a sovereign claim
To our immortal praise. –Isaac Watts (18th century)