What Type Of Prophet Is A More Than A Prophet Prophet?
We are all familiar with the words of Jesus in Matthew 11:9 where Jesus asks ‘what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, and I tell you more than a prophet.”
Many sermons have been preached and books and other writings talking about the fact that Jesus said John was more than a prophet. But, have we really grasped what Jesus was saying? What was Jesus trying to say.?
I will only discuss this simply here for this could involve a great deal of discussion. Regardless, Jesus did in fact say John was a prophet. At that moment and time John the Baptist was in the Old Covenant and thus he was an Old Testament Prophet. So, what does that mean. Simply he was to remind the people of God’s covenant and call them to return to the teachings of God and His commands thus he was calling them to repentance, but in the Old Covenant.
John is often compared to Elijah and Jesus even said, “if you are willing to accept it he was Elijah to come.” (Matt. 11:14) Elijah did many things but the main thing is to call for Israel to return to righteous living, and obeying the commands of God. John called for repentance. All of the Old Testament prophets spoke of repentance. So we have established the fact that John was a prophet under the Old Covenant. Yet, here he is with the Messiah, Jesus the Christ the one many prophets spoke of.
If John was indeed a prophet, then why did Jesus say he was more than a prophet? This could be either a Messianic statement or eschatological one. In other words he did more than call for repentance, he pointed to the Messiah, and thus to the beginning of the “End of The Age”. The term eschatology simply refers to the end of the age or the time before the return of Jesus when he comes to establish His kingdom on the earth.
Malachi 3:1 talks about Elijah returning before the great and terrible ‘Day of the Lord,” which is often meant to refer to Jesus return. There is another Day of the Lord where judgment is meted out. That is later. So when Jesus said John was Elijah if you care to believe, He is saying in essence he is one that has come before the great Day of the Lord to announce it is near, or right around the corner.
So, John is a prophet who calls for repentance in the manner the Old Testament prophets and also is more than a prophet in he is saying the kingdom of God is here, because the Messiah, the one who rules and leads it, is here!
We know that Jesus later died in Jerusalem, in the manner of many prophets, but also arose and ascended to heaven where He is waiting to return. So, John was right in saying the Messiah is here and thus the kingdom of God was here, but it was only partially fulfilled. Also. Jesus continued John’s ministry in that he called for repentance, but as usual, He took it deeper calling for the Spirit-man to be born anew or come alive. That is how you enter this kingdom.
So, John was a prophet calling for repentance and change in living, but also more than that he established a new type of prophet or pattern in saying that the kingdom of God is here, now, because the Messiah is here and with Him is soon to come His kingdom established on the earth permanently. John pointed to more than changing your life to obey God’s word but he was also preparing the hearers for what was next. John’s was indeed a preparation ministry, making the way clear for Messiah.
In these last days it is more urgent now than ever that we declare more than just repentance, and repentance bearing fruit. We must declare that the kingdom of God is here, yes, even though it is only partial, but that it is also near, closer than ever. The fullness of the kingdom of God is ready to be poured out but we will only see the that when Jesus returns and sets it up. In the meanwhile as we get closer we will see more signs pointing to His soon return. Signs, wonders, miracles, judgments, etc. are all part of the kingdom of God. Like John, God has raised up and will continue to raise up those forerunners who are “more than a prophet prophets.”
You may not be called to be a frontline forerunner or carry that message with a burden, but f you are a believer in the kingdom of God then you have a voice and can still share the message of Jesus to repent and turn to Him and follow Him and prepare for His soon coming!!!
One of the hallmarks of John the Baptist is found in John 3:29, “the one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is made complete.” Preparing the way for Jesus’ returns is not a ministry of dread, but rather one of joy. All believers, but especially those called to point the way for His return should be full of His joy, not only for hearing His voice, but that He is coming.!