Jesus: Prophet, Priest, and King
Today’s reading: Deuteronomy 17-19; Mark 14:1-25
18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. 19 And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him. Deuteronomy 18:18-19
22 And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” 23 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. 24 And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Mark 14:22-24
In our reading today in Deuteronomy, Moses laid out some principles for the offices of prophet, priest, and king in Israel. Certainly, there had already been a great deal of law given about the priesthood, but now Moses also addresses the matter of prophets and kings, too.
In all three of these offices, God was to designate the occupants. No one was to assume the role of prophet or king. God alone had the right to name those who could serve Him as priests, as prophets, and as kings. Warnings were given to those who might assume the role of prophet and use that office to lead the nation astray to other gods. Kings were not to use their authority to lead the nation away from the Lord. Priests were also regulated under the law.
The people of Israel were under obligation to respect those in authority, duly chosen and installed by God. They might not disregard those anointed by the Lord.
The culmination of rebellion against the Lord’s anointed came when Jesus appeared. He was the fulfillment of the promise of God to raise up a prophet like Moses. He was the son of David to sit forever as King over God’s elect people. He was the great High Priest above the Aaronic priesthood after the order of Melchizedek. [ We will learn more about that in the Epistle to the Hebrews.]
He fulfilled all these offices perfectly, yet His people rejected Him. Judas betrayed Him. The Sanhedrin condemned Him. Pilate turned Him over for crucifixion. All seemed lost, but His broken body and poured out blood brought a new covenant of salvation to all who believe in Him.
There are no words adequate to express the immense wisdom and grace of God toward us in Christ, our prophet, priest, and king. Praise Him, though your words be feeble. Never lose the wonder of who He is and what He has done for us.