The next three views of Jesus are supernaturally oriented as we explore His influence in the “seen and the unseen” realms, in other words, this physical world and the unseen spiritual world.
Prophets are recognised in many spiritual traditions and religions. Their universal role is to bridge the seen and unseen, to reveal the spiritual to this present age. But not all prophets speak truthfully and prophecy can be used to increase personal gain in terms of influence, money or gratification. None of these end up well.
The LORD God gave Moses some strong boundaries for engaging with the unseen realm in Deuteronomy 18:9-13. Clearly, there are dangers in the spiritual realm not to be messed with. As our ‘secular’ nation drifts further from Christ and His Word, isn’t it fascinating how such spiritual practices are being pursued?
In the very next passage (Deuteronomy 18:14-22) Moses taught the people of God of the Prophet who would be raised up and who would do exactly what was required. God told the Israelites that He had initiated the line of prophecy and prophets to reveal His Word to His people across history, as they had struggled to stand directly in His presence (Deuteronomy 18:16 and Hebrews 12:18-24). The prophets spoke God’s Word while the kings rose and fell, when the superpowers raged around and through Israel, and within and outside of the Tabernacle/Temple institution.
Moreover, the LORD told them how to discern a false prophet (Deuteronomy 18:20-22): If what they said didn’t happen, then they weren’t a prophet. Unfortunately, this principle was not recognised to the detriment of God’s people – then, and now.
So, to Jesus as a Prophet. Clearly Jesus bridged the seen and unseen realms. He frequently spoke of things unseen, which came to pass. He spoke with authority and backed it up with powerful works that revealed His dominion over creation, sickness and the evil spiritual forces.
When the disciples of John the Baptist came to ask Him on behalf of John “Are you the One who we are waiting for – or do we still have to wait for another?” Jesus immediately demonstrated His power, fulfilling prophetic words of Isaiah 29:18-21 and 35:5-6 – releasing, restoring, reviving and renewing.
He told John’s disciples to return to him and tell him everything they had seen and heard, and to stay strong because Jesus is the One he was waiting for.
Jesus then turned His attention to the crowds, to admonish them for their pigeon-holing of the prophets. If they were out in the wilderness, dress rough and eat rough – “he has a demon!” says the crowds. If they move around the city and attend parties at the houses of powerful people, “he is a glutton and an alcoholic!” says the crowds. Jesus told them to stop judging the appearance – and listen to what they are saying.
“Wisdom is justified by all her children.”
Those who listen to what Jesus said will find life and truth. He had a unique insight into the seen and unseen realm. He now has full authority over all of it, and His rule will be seen by all people on the Day of the LORD when He wraps all history and fulfils all the promises and prophecies we wait for.