A Prophet Like Moses
We live in distressing times. Mankind certainly needs a leader like Moses—someone who has not only power and authority but also integrity, courage, compassion, and a heartfelt love of justice. When Moses died, the Israelites must have wondered, ‘Will the world see the likes of him again?’ Moses himself answered that question.
Moses’ writings explain how sickness and death came about in the first place and why God permitted wickedness to continue. (Genesis 3:1-19; Job, chapters 1, 2) At Genesis 3:15, the very first divine prophecy is recorded—a promise that evil will eventually be crushed! How? The prophecy indicated that an individual would be born through whom salvation would come. This promise gave birth to the hope that a Messiah would arise and deliver mankind. But who would the Messiah be? Moses helps us to identify him conclusively.
Toward the end of his life, Moses uttered these portentous words: “A prophet from your own midst, from your brothers, like me, is what Jehovah your God will raise up for you—to him you people should listen.” (Deuteronomy 18:15) The apostle Peter later applied those words directly to Jesus.—Acts 3:20-26.
Most Jewish commentators vigorously deny any comparison of Moses with Jesus. They argue that the words of this text apply to any true prophet who came after Moses. However, according to Tanakh—The Holy Scriptures, by the Jewish Publication Society, Deuteronomy 34:10 says: “Never again did there arise in Israel a prophet like Moses—whom the LORD singled out, face to face.”
Yes, many faithful prophets, such as Isaiah and Jeremiah, came after Moses. But none had the unique relationship with God that Moses enjoyed—speaking with him “face to face.” Moses’ promise of a prophet ‘like him’ must therefore apply to one individual—the Messiah! It is noteworthy that before the advent of Christianity—and religious persecution from false Christians—Jewish scholars viewed things similarly. Echoes of this can be seen in Jewish writings, such as the Midrash Rabbah, which describes Moses as the forerunner of the “latter Redeemer,” or Messiah.
That Jesus was like Moses in many ways cannot be denied. (See the box “Jesus—A Prophet Like Moses.”) Jesus has power and authority. (Matthew 28:19) Jesus is “mild-tempered and lowly in heart.” (Matthew 11:29) Jesus hates lawlessness and injustice. (Hebrews 1:9) He can therefore give us the leadership we sorely need! It is he who will soon crush wickedness and bring the earth to the Paradise conditions that the Bible describes.*