God’s Word for You
Acts 3:22-23 a prophet like me
by Pastor Timothy Smith on Wednesday, September 18, 2019
22 Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers. You must listen to him in everything he tells you. 23 Everyone that does not listen to that prophet will be completely cut off from his people.’
In the fortieth year of the sojourn of the Israelites in the wilderness, about a year after the death of Aaron the High Priest, Moses led the nation to the foot of Mount Nebo in the land of Moab, on the east bank of the Jordan River. There he spoke to the nation of about two million people. Three of them (Moses, Joshua, and Caleb) had been adults when they left Egypt. The rest had either been children then or had been born and raised in the desert since that time. To this group, Moses preached a series of sermons explaining the Law he had received from God on Mount Sinai. These sermons are what we call the Book of Deuteronomy today.
Moses’ prophecy quoted here is from Deuteronomy 18:15 and 18:18-19. Moses uses a peculiar phrase: “from among your brothers.” Even the prophet Amos, who was not trained in the “school of the prophets” but was a sheep herder (Amos 7:14-15), was nevertheless from among the brothers, an Israelite from the village of Tekoa south of Jerusalem (Amos 1:1). Therefore, Moses must not only be describing the human lineage of the Messiah, but something else as well. The Messiah was going to be very different from Israel’s many other prophets. He would be in a class all by himself, like Moses (“like me”), who is so far, head and shoulders, above the other prophets that he usually isn’t even numbered with them. The Messiah was going to be something even more spectacular, much farther above Moses than Moses is above the other prophets. In fact, the Jews generally accepted that the Messiah would be the Son of God. Therefore the unusual thing about the Messiah would be that he was both divine and human.
So the phrase, “a prophet like me from among your brothers,” emphasizes both the human nature of Christ and his divine nature, too. The Jews were expecting him to be truly God; it would come as a surprise to many that he would be truly and fully human as well, with a human mother and a human ancestry. And just as Moses was a mediator of the covenant given on Mount Sinai, so also Christ would be the mediator of a covenant, the one that took the place of the one from Sinai and which was fulfilled on Calvary.
“Listen to him” is what God the Father commanded to those who heard Jesus (Matthew 17:5). Peter’s corollary is: “Everyone that does not listen to Christ will be completely cut off.” Rejecting Jesus as the one and only way to heaven is idolatry. Following Jesus, trusting in him, and believing his words is the one way to everlasting life. Put your trust in Jesus and be comforted that in him you have free and full forgiveness for every one of your sins.
Pastor Timothy Smith