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The Old Tes­ta­ment is filled with prophe­cy. Prophe­cy means the direct inspi­ra­tion of God to speak His words to the world. There were many prophets in the Old Tes­ta­ment, not only those whose names are giv­en to the prophet­ic books of the Bible, but many oth­ers, includ­ing Moses, Eli­jah, Samuel and Nathan.

In the Old Tes­ta­ment, many prophe­cies were made con­cern­ing the his­to­ry and des­tiny of the peo­ple of Israel and of the whole human race. Usu­al­ly the prophe­cies told what God would do in response to the wicked­ness and unfaith­ful­ness of His Peo­ple. The prophe­cies fore­told the tragedies com­ing to Israel because of the sins of the Peo­ple. They also fore­told the ulti­mate mer­cy and for­give­ness of God Who is faith­ful to His promis­es, Who will not be angry for­ev­er, but Who will restore the for­tunes of His Peo­ple and bring all nations to His ever­last­ing Kingdom.

The ulti­mate act of God’s mer­cy and com­pas­sion is His send­ing of His Son as the Mes­si­ah of Israel. Jesus, as we have seen, is the final King of God’s King­dom which reigns for­ev­er. He is the great high priest Who brings com­ple­tion and per­fec­tion to man’s priest­ly sac­ri­fices to God. He is also the last and final Prophet Who ush­ers in the time when God cre­ates a whole peo­ple of prophets, a whole assem­bly of those who are taught direct­ly by God to know His Will and to speak His Words in the world.

Thus, in the Gospel of Saint John, it is record­ed that the peo­ple rec­og­nized Jesus not mere­ly as a prophet or one of the prophets, but as the final Prophet Whom God would send at the end of the ages.

When the peo­ple saw the sign which He had done [the feed­ing of the five thou­sand], they said, “This is indeed the Prophet Who is come into the world!” (Jn 6:14)

When they heard these words (about the liv­ing water), some of the peo­ple said, “This is real­ly the Prophet.” Oth­ers said, “This is the Christ” (Jn 7:40).

Saint Peter refers to the same appear­ance of Christ as the Prophet, in his preach­ing to the peo­ple out­side the tem­ple in Jerusalem.

Moses said, “The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet from your brethren as He raised me up. You shall lis­ten to Him in what­ev­er He tells you. And it shall be that every soul that does not lis­ten to that prophet shall be destroyed from the peo­ple.” (Acts 3:22–23)

Jesus is “that prophet” whom Moses spoke about in the Old Law (Dt 18:15). But even Moses and all the prophets of old did not real­ize that “that prophet” would be the divine Son and the uncre­at­ed Word of God in human flesh.

Jesus, as the final Prophet, is more than a prophet. He is rad­i­cal­ly dif­fer­ent from the prophets of old. He is the “teacher come from God” (Jn 3:2), Who “speaks as one hav­ing author­i­ty” (Mt 7:24, Mk 1:22), Who speaks not His own words, but the words of the Father Who sent Him (Jn 14: 24). But He is even more than this because He is Him­self the divine Word of’ God in human flesh.

In the begin­ning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the begin­ning with God; all things were made through Him, and with­out Him was not any­thing made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. (Jn 1:1–4)

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld His glo­ry, glo­ry as of the only Son from the Father. (Jn 1:14)

And from His ful­ness have we all received, grace upon grace. For the law was giv­en through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only Son who is in the bosom of the Father, He has made Him known. (Jn 1:16–18)

As the Word of God in human flesh, Jesus ful­fills the prophe­cy of the great prophets of old who wrote that in the Messiah’s time, all men would be taught direct­ly by God.

For a brief moment I for­sook you,

but with great com­pas­sion I will gath­er you.

In over­flow­ing wrath for a moment I hid my face from you,

but with ever­last­ing love I will have com­pas­sion on you,

says the Lord, your Redeemer.

For the moun­tains may depart and the hills be removed,

but my stead­fast love shall not depart from you,

and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,

says the Lord, who has com­pas­sion on you.

All your sons shall be taught by the Lord,

And great shall be the pros­per­i­ty of your sons.

In right­eous­ness you shall be established;

you shall be far from oppres­sion, for you shall not fear;

and from ter­ror, for it shall not come near you. (Isa 54:7–8, 10, 13–14)

But this is the covenant which 1 will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law with­in them, and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my peo­ple. And no longer shall each man teach his neigh­bor and each his broth­er, say­ing ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the great­est, says the Lord; for I will for­give their iniq­ui­ty, and I will remem­ber their sin no more. (Jer 31:33–34)

As the Prophet and the incar­nate Word of God, Jesus is the Way, the Truth, the Life, and the Light of the world.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also; hence­forth you know Him and have seen Him.” (Jn 14:6–7)

Again Jesus spoke to them, say­ing, “I am the light of the world; he who fol­lows me will not walk in dark­ness, but will have the light of life.” (Jn 8:12)

Jesus shares His gift of prophe­cy with all who belong to Him. He gives the Holy Spir­it to all of His dis­ci­ples that they too might know the Father and speak His words and be them­selves “the light of the world.”

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill can­not be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glo­ry to your Father who is in heav­en. (Mt 5:14–16)

…and you will be dragged before gov­er­nors and kings for my sake, to bear tes­ti­mo­ny before them and the Gen­tiles. When they deliv­er you up, do not be anx­ious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be giv­en to you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but the Spir­it of your Father speak­ing through you. (Mt 10:18–20)

The full pos­si­bil­i­ty for men to proph­esy is giv­en in the gift of the Holy Spir­it Who came to Christ’s dis­ci­ples on Pen­te­cost and con­tin­ues to come upon all who in the Church are bap­tized into Christ. This full out­pour­ing of the Spir­it of God on all flesh was itself proph­e­sied by Joel in the Old Tes­ta­ment. Thus once again, the apos­tle Peter bears witness:

But Peter, stand­ing with the eleven, lift­ed up his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. For these men are not drunk, as you sup­pose, since it is only the third hour of the day: but this is what was spo­ken by the prophet Joel:

And in the last days it shall be, God declares,

that I will pour out my Spir­it upon all flesh,

and your sons and your daugh­ters shall prophesy,

and your young men shall see visions,

and your old men shall dream dreams;

yea, and on my menser­vants and my maid­ser­vants in those days

I will pour out my Spir­it; and they shall proph­esy.’ (Acts 2:14–18)

The apos­tle Paul con­curs with Peter as he insists that prophe­cy is the first of the gifts of the Holy Spir­it in the Church of the Messiah.

Make love your aim, and earnest­ly desire the spir­i­tu­al gifts, espe­cial­ly that you may proph­esy. (1 Cor 14:1)

In the King­dom of God, all prophe­cy will cease, for the final and per­fect pres­ence of God will be giv­en. Then Christ, the Word of God, will be present in all of His divine glo­ry, man­i­fest­ing God the Father to the whole of creation.