The Church: Heirs of the Prophets

What makes a prophet a prophet? Why does Peter in Acts 3:24–26 refer to his hearers as heirs of the prophets? And what do Numbers 12:1–9 and Deuteronomy 18:14–22 have to do with the church. Are youheirs of the prophets? A prophet fore-tells and tells forth God’s Word. His job is two-fold. But, also, prophet has religious fellowship with God. As the Lord As the Lord rebukes Miriam and Aaron for their jealousy, he points to the closeness of the fellowship between God and Moses. God graciously communicated with prophets. But he spoke face to face with Moses.

“It is evident that a religious preeminence was involved. Moses, in Numbers 11:29, expressed the desire that all of God’s people might be prophets. This clearly shows that from the first there was a religious as much as a functional value found in the appearance and exercise of the office. This appraisal runs through the entire history of prophecy from beginning to end. The divine promise in Joel 2:28–32 extends it into the eschatalogical age. Not only is Israel honored by having prophets, the greater honor is that the people are intended to become prophets.” (Geerhardus Vos, Biblical Theology, p. 217).

“Moses is surpassed by our Lord Jesus Christ, who did only what God commanded Him. He was not a servant in house of His Lord; He was a Son set over the house of His Father—which is also His house, for the people of God are also His people.” (S. G. De Graaf, Promise and Deliverance, Vol. 1, p. 342).

“Viewed against the background of prophetic promise, these early signs of Jesus’ power to rescue and repair by his Spirit reveal that the church’s life is now a first installment and preview of the peace, purity, love, and joy of the world to come, even in the midst of the old creation’s present pollution, decay, and death.” (Dennis E. Johnson, The Message of Acts in the History of Redemption, p. 56).

Peter describes God’s pepole as the heirs of the prophets. He means more than that his hearers have received what Samuel and the prophets promised, true though that is. Rather, that religious fellowship, that close relationship with God, that characterized Moses especially, but also the other prophets, has now become your relationship with God. It takes place because the Servant of the Lord has come to turn you from your wicked ways to fellowship with God. His death and resurrection are yours. And thus, also, the close fellowship between the Christ and his Father is what you are called to as an heir of the prophets.

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

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