How Was Jesus Christ a Prophet Like Moses?
Among these divinely inspired prophecies is one the Hebrew prophet Moses recorded concerning the Messiah. Quoting Jehovah, Moses stated: “A prophet I shall raise up for them [the Israelites] from the midst of their brothers, like you [Moses]; and I shall indeed put my words in his mouth, and he will certainly speak to them all that I shall command him.”—Deuteronomy 18:17, 18.
The apostle Peter applied this prophecy to Jesus Christ when he stated: “Moses said, ‘Jehovah God will raise up for you from among your brothers a prophet like me. You must listen to him according to all the things he speaks to you.’” (Acts 3:22) In fact, Jesus himself had stated: “If you believed Moses you would believe me, for that one wrote about me.” (John 5:46) In what ways were Jesus and Moses alike?
Alike Early in Their Careers
Both Moses and Jesus escaped the slaughter of very young male children. The infant Moses was concealed among the reeds on the banks of the Nile River and thus escaped the slaughter of Israelite male babies as ordered by Pharaoh of Egypt. As a young child, Jesus also escaped the slaughter of males up to two years old in Bethlehem and its districts. This massacre was ordered by King Herod the Great, who, like Pharaoh, was an enemy of God and His people.—Exodus 1:22–2:10; Matthew 2:13-18.
A mild-tempered, or meek, spirit was displayed by both Moses and Jesus. Though he was reared as a son in the household of a powerful king of Egypt, Moses came to be “by far the meekest of all the men who were upon the surface of the ground.” (Numbers 12:3) Comparably, Jesus had served as the mighty prince Michael in heaven but humbly came to the earth. (Daniel 10:13; Philippians 2:5-8) Moreover, Jesus had compassion for people and could say: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am mild-tempered and lowly in heart, and you will find refreshment for your souls.”—Matthew 11:29; 14:14.
For the sake of Jehovah’s service, both Moses and Jesus left behind prominent positions and great riches. To serve Jehovah and His people, Moses gave up wealth and a prestigious place in Egypt. (Hebrews 11:24-26) Similarly, Jesus left behind a greatly favored position and riches in heaven so as to serve God and His people on the earth.—2 Corinthians 8:9.
Moses and Jesus both became God’s anointed ones. The prophet Moses served as Jehovah’s anointed one to the nation of Israel. As the apostle Paul said, Moses “esteemed the reproach of [being] the Christ [anointed one] as riches greater than the treasures of Egypt.” (Hebrews 11:26; Exodus 3:1–4:17) When did Jesus become the Christ, or anointed One? This occurred when he was anointed with God’s holy spirit, or active force, upon being baptized. To the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s fountain at Sychar and before Israel’s high priest when on trial, Jesus testified that he was the Messiah, or Christ.—Mark 14:61, 62; John 4:25, 26.
Both Moses and Jesus fasted for 40 days. Early in his career as God’s spokesman, Moses fasted for 40 days while in the mountain of Sinai. (Exodus 34:28) Jesus fasted for 40 days in the wilderness and then resisted satanic temptation early in his career as the promised Messiah.—Matthew 4:1-11.
Both Men Glorified Jehovah
Jehovah used both Moses and Jesus to magnify His holy name. God told Moses to go to the Israelites in the name of ‘Jehovah the God of their forefathers.’ (Exodus 3:13-16) Moses represented God before Pharaoh, who was kept in existence so that Jehovah’s power could be shown and His name declared in all the earth. (Exodus 9:16) Jesus likewise came in Jehovah’s name. For instance, Christ said: “I have come in the name of my Father, but you do not receive me.” (John 5:43) Jesus glorified his Father, made Jehovah’s name manifest to the men God gave him, and made it well-known on the earth.—John 17:4, 6, 26.
By divine power, Moses and Jesus both performed miracles that glorified God. Moses performed miracles to prove that he was commissioned by Jehovah God. (Exodus 4:1-31) Throughout his career, Moses, who was used by God to part the Red Sea, continued to perform miracles that glorified Jehovah. (Exodus 5:1–12:36; 14:21-31; 16:11-18; 17:5-7; Psalm 78:12-54) Similarly, Jesus brought glory to God by performing many miracles. So much was that the case that Jesus could say: “Believe me that I am in union with the Father and the Father is in union with me; otherwise, believe on account of the works themselves.” (John 14:11) Among his miracles was that of causing a violent windstorm to abate, so that the Sea of Galilee became calm.—Mark 4:35-41; Luke 7:18-23.
Other Important Similarities
Moses and Jesus were both associated with a miraculous provision of food. Moses was Jehovah’s prophet when food was miraculously provided for the Israelites. (Exodus 16:11-36) Similarly, on two occasions of Bible record, Jesus miraculously fed multitudes with material food.—Matthew 14:14-21; 15:32-38.
Manna from heaven was linked with the service of both Moses and Jesus. Moses was leading the Israelites when they were provided with manna from heaven, as it were. (Exodus 16:11-27; Numbers 11:4-9; Psalm 78:25) In a comparable but highly important way, Jesus provided his own flesh as manna from heaven for the life of obedient mankind.—John 6:48-51.
Both Moses and Jesus led people out of bondage into freedom. Moses was used by God to lead the Israelites out of bondage to the Egyptians and into freedom as His people. (Exodus 12:37-42) Similarly, Jesus Christ has been leading his followers into freedom. Christ will yet lead obedient mankind into freedom from bondage to the organization of Satan the Devil, as well as from sin and death.—1 Corinthians 15:24-26; Colossians 1:13; 1 John 5:19.
Moses and Jesus both mediated covenants. Moses was the mediator of the Law covenant, between Jehovah God and the Israelites. (Exodus 19:3-9) Jesus is the Mediator of the new covenant, between God and spiritual Israel.—Jeremiah 31:31-34; Luke 22:20; Hebrews 8:6-13.
Judging was committed to both Moses and Jesus Christ. Moses served as judge and lawgiver to fleshly Israel. (Exodus 18:13; Malachi 4:4) Jesus serves as Judge and has given the spiritual “Israel of God” its laws and commandments. (Galatians 6:16; John 15:10) Christ himself said: “The Father judges no one at all, but he has committed all the judging to the Son, in order that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He that does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.”—John 5:22, 23.
Both Moses and Jesus were entrusted with headship over God’s house. Moses was faithful as the head over the house of God in ancient Israel. (Numbers 12:7) Comparably, Jesus was made the Head of Jehovah’s spiritual house of sons and has proved faithful over it. Indeed, Jesus “was faithful to the One that made him such, as Moses was also in all the house of that One. For the latter is counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who constructs it has more honor than the house. . . . Moses as an attendant was faithful in all the house of that One as a testimony of the things that were to be spoken afterwards, but Christ was faithful as a Son over the house of that One. We are the house of that One, if we make fast our hold on our freeness of speech and our boasting over the hope firm to the end.”—Hebrews 3:2-6.
Even as to death, Moses and Jesus were alike. How so? Well, Jehovah removed Moses’ body, thus preventing men from either profaning it or idolizing it. (Deuteronomy 34:5, 6; Jude 9) Similarly, God disposed of Jesus’ body, not allowing it to see corruption and thus preventing its becoming a stumbling block to faith.—Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:29-31; 1 Corinthians 15:50.
Pay Attention to Prophecy
These are among the ways in which Jesus Christ proved to be a prophet like Moses. How wonderfully God’s words to Moses regarding the coming of that prophet were fulfilled!
There is no question that Jehovah carried out his prophetic promise to raise up a prophet like Moses. The words of Deuteronomy 18:18 were fulfilled in the life and experiences of Jesus Christ. And such fulfillment gives us reason to have confidence in other prophetic features of God’s Word. Therefore, let us always pay attention to Bible prophecy.