April 15, 2019
365 Days of the Great Names of God, Day 136: Prophet
"Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him...They were all filled with awe and praised God. 'A great prophet has appeared among us,' they said. 'God has come to help his people.'" (Luke 7:11,16 NIV)
A few weeks ago, our daughter texted her dad and me from college and asked, "Can I call you guys later? I have some good news to tell you."
After thinking about it for approximately 0.00 seconds, we said yes and waited for her call.
This is the kind of message we like to get, because we like it when our children have good news to tell us (even if wondering what her news was just about killed me, and in case you're wondering yourself, she shared with us a direction she thinks God might be taking her once she gets her degree in early childhood education).
God's prophets under the Old Covenant had news to tell, too, but it wasn't always all that good. Sometimes, God sent them to warn His people to get their act together or to let them know about some entirely deserved punishment He was justly going to hand down.
This was definitely a case of "don't shoot the messenger," because God's Old Testament prophets were essentially His mailmen. They just delivered the letters; they didn't write them. They just communicated the messages; they didn't come up with them.
But Jesus was not only a prophet, He was THE Prophet. He not only brought good news, He was—and is—the Good News. He not only declared God's words, He was—and is—the Word.
What God used His earlier prophets to do, Jesus did once and for all. Literally, "for all"...because His message is for everyone. Now, God uses us to deliver His good news. We do this when we invite a co-worker to church or teach a Sunday School class or tell someone we're praying for them (and do it) or send a friend an encouraging Bible verse or share a song. And there are so many other ways.
When God's ancient prophets had good news to deliver, it was often about something in the future its recipients were going to have to wait a long while to see materialize, if they saw it at all. But you and I do not have to wait a single moment to both hear and share the news that filled the crowd that day with awe, because in the person of Jesus, "God has come to help His people."