On the Sunday before Jesus’ death, there was a question echoing off the massive stones of the temple: “Who is this man the crowds are praising?” Here was the answer: “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee” (Matthew 21:11).
Do you break out in praise because Jesus is a prophet? You would if you remembered what a prophet is. In the Greek language, a prophet is someone who hears from God and then “speaks out” the truth. So when this passage says that Jesus is “the prophet,” it means that he always speaks the truth about your life.
In a way, that truth hurts. I’m guessing you like being judged for your critical words, called out for your selfish attitude, and corrected for your lazy behavior as much as I do. Everything in us wants to hire our inner lawyer and find some technical reason why our actions weren’t that bad. But prophets speak the truth, which is exactly what Jesus is doing when he calls us selfish sinners.
But in another way, that truth helps. Because Jesus, the prophet, speaks the truth about grace. He says that, through his blood, we are part of God’s family. We are forgiven. We are loved. We are cherished. We are filled with his Spirit. We are going to be okay.
That’s good news. Because Jesus isn’t just a person. Jesus is our Prophet.