God sent the last of the old testament prophets (John the Baptist) to introduce Jesus. In fact Jesus said, “Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist.” (Luke 7:28)
Is Jesus greater than John the Baptist? According to John the Baptist he is:
John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, this was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me… He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose. (John 1:15, and 27)
John the baptist bore witness of Jesus, claiming that even though Jesus came after him, Jesus was before him – this is a reference to his eternal existence. John also says Jesus has the preference over him, and that he is not even worthy to unlatch the shoes of Jesus.
John who was as great as any prophet before him speaks of Jesus, not as an another prophet, but as someone unique and so different, that John sees himself as unworthy in his presence.
In fact John says: He must increase, but I must decrease. (John 3:30)
John did not believe that Jesus was like the other prophets, John believed Jesus was from above.
He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.” (John 3:31)
All Israel had been waiting in anticipation of “the prophet” who was to come. This prophet who was to come would be unlike all the other prophets, for he would be the Messiah, the redeemer, and the hope of all Israel. He would be the Savior of the world, and the one in whom the Gentiles would trust. He would be the very Son of God, begotten of God, unique from all other men.
When asked if he was “that prophet” John denied and said “I am not the Christ” (John 1:20-21). John declared that he was the one who came to announce the coming of that prophet who is the Messiah, the Son of God:
I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord. (John 1:23)
Jesus was more than a prophet, he was and is the LORD! Jesus’ ministry as a prophet was not like those prophets before him, for they spake on behalf of the Lord. Jesus spoke being the Lord.
Unlike the other prophets who were chosen from among men, Jesus came down from above, not with a Word from God, but as the very Word of God in the flesh. He not only speaks the Word of God, he is the Word of God!
The writer of Hebrews says: God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high…
Jesus is unlike all other prophets because he came down from above. In John 3:13 Jesus declared himself to the Son of man in heaven, who came down from heaven.
Jesus claimed to be the one the prophet Daniel described in Daniel 7:
I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the SON OF MAN came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. (Daniel 7:13-14)
Jesus was more than an ordinary prophet, he is the heavenly man who came down from God, eternally existing with God, and he is the only one who can reveal God and bring man near to God.
And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven (John 3:13)
The apostle Paul referred to Jesus as “the Lord from heaven,” and ”the heavenly man.” (1 Corinthians 15:47-49)
No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. (John 1:18)
He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all. And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony. He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. (John 3:31-36)
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