Who is the Prophet? What is the Mission of the Prophets?
Dear visitor, in this article we will talk about the concept of “prophet”. Our primary source is the Bible, the word of God.
What is a Prophet?
Prophets have very important functions in religions. In Christianity, Judaism or Islam, prophets occupy a very special position. So who are the prophets really? What comes to mind when we say prophet? Do you think of them as human beings with some kind of mystical powers that allow them to see the future? Is the Prophet a sinless, holy person? Do prophets have political and military powers and powers? Can a prophet be a ruler, sultan or king who rules a country? Who is the real prophet? In this article, we will look at the concept of the prophet from a Christian perspective.
The Meaning of the Word Prophet
Prophets are people who convey a message from God or teach the Word of God. Also, sometimes God gave them a prophecy about the future to pass on to their contemporaries. In some cases, God has performed miracles through them.
The primary function of a prophet is to serve as God’s representative or messenger, by communicating God’s word to his people. True prophets never spoke in their own authority or shared their personal views; on the contrary, they conveyed the message that God gave them.
In the Old Testament (Torah, Psalms, etc.) Hebrew: נָבִיא (nabi) derives from a root meaning “to gush like a fountain” and is the most common Biblical term for the word prophet. Another word, רֹאֶה (ro’eh), was also used in Samuel’s time, and the word means “seeing”. Ro’eh occurs 7 times, referring to Samuel.
The Greek word προφήτης: prophétés is used in the New Testament (Bible). It means an interpreter or progressive of God’s will. In addition, the word προφητεία: prophéteia was used to mean prophecy in the sense of prophecy or foresight.
Who Are the Prophets in the Bible?
As we read in the Bible, while all the prophets were preaching God’s word to the people, each of them actually took on different specific roles. God communicated with different purposes, themes and conditions by using many methods through the prophets.
Most Prophets Invite Change
We may see prophets as speakers speaking to large crowds, but when we look at the Bible, most prophets spoke to groups of sometimes 10, sometimes 3 people. Sometimes they even spoke to 1 person.
For example, Moses was chosen by God to be both a leader and a prophet. God’s purpose in choosing him was to save the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt under the pharaoh’s command. Considering the situation of Moses and his brother Aaron, they were actually sent for one person: Pharaoh. God’s entire message was originally for Pharaoh. Pharaoh was supposed to set God’s people free.
Pharaoh refused, and God performed various miracles through Moses. Among them were 10 troubles. It was after many troubles that Pharaoh realized that he was dealing with God, not a few people. (Exodus 7 – 11)
The prophet Jonah was sent to Nineveh, a city-state, to warn the people living there. God was determined to destroy the entire city if they did not repent of their sins and fix their lives. Fortunately, the whole city listened to Jonah and they repented. Thus, they were saved from extinction.
In the time of David, God sent the prophet Nathan to David, reminding himself of the crimes of adultery and murder that he had committed through a parable, and summoned him to repentance. King David accepted his sins, repented and agreed to suffer the consequences of his actions. (2 Samuel 12)
When Samuel was still a boy, he was sent by God to warn Eli of the High Priest of the great crimes his sons had committed and to give them an opportunity to repent. Unfortunately, in this case, the people the message reached died because they refused to listen to the prophet Samuel, or God, and take any action. (1. Samuel 3 – 4)
There Are Different People, Not Different Types of Prophets
God has chosen different people in different situations to deliver his words, to prophesy.
As we mentioned earlier, Samuel was also called by God to be a prophet while he was a priest in the temple. Likewise, the prophet Jeremiah was a priest in the temple.
While a writer and teacher, Ezra was chosen by God as a prophet to bring the people of Israel from Babylonian exile to Jerusalem and teach them the scriptures. (Ezra 7 – 10)
Deborah, a woman, was a judge ruling Israel, and God had chosen her as a prophet, too. (Judges: 4)
Moses was the prince of Egypt. When we read his story, he was a shepherd at one time and a slave at another time. Amos and Elisha were farmers. (Amos 1:1-1, 1 Kings 19:15-21)
Perhaps the most interesting of these prophets was Balaam. Because Balaam was not actually Israeli, he was even anti-Israel. However, God had chosen Balaam, and Balaam had accepted God’s authority and calling. (Count 22 in the Desert)
God Spoken to Some Prophets Through Visions and Dreams
God often spoke directly to the prophets, but sometimes through visions and dreams. As in the example of the prophet Joseph, God often spoke to Joseph through dreams. Joseph also interpreted dreams (Genesis 40 – 42)
Likewise, the prophet Daniel both spoke to God through visions and dreams and interpreted dreams. (Daniel 2:22-49)
The prophet Ezekiel also foreshadowed that unless Israel repented and corrected his path, God would judge and Jerusalem would be destroyed.
John, who wrote the last chapter of the Bible, also received revelations from God, in the form of visions, about the end of the world.
Some Prophets Performed Miracles
Sometimes the prophets performed miracles through God’s power. These miracles usually took place in more extreme situations, especially when the situation of the prophet was dangerous.
For example, God performed many miracles through the prophet Elijah. One of his most important miracles was that in a discussion about the sacrifices offered to God and the false god Baal, the prophet Elijah asked God to send fire from the sky. The fire from the sky had completely burned both the sacrifice and the altar. In fact, the prophet Elijah resurrected the only son of a widow from the dead.
Some Prophets Prophesied About the Future
Even if it is not the main responsibility of the prophets to give news about the future, we may think that this is the main duty of the prophets. The main reason for this is that the most famous prophets in the Bible stand out with these characteristics.
For example, the prophet Daniel knew that the exile of the Israelites in Babylon would end and that the people would return to Jerusalem. We can see that some famous prophets like this gave accurate information about the future.
The most important of these prophecies are those about Jesus Christ. From the beginning of the Bible to the New Testament, the most important of these prophecies are those about the coming of the Messiah. Prophets such as Isaiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Micah, Hosea, Jeremiah, Malachi, and Zechariah spoke prophecies about the coming of the Messiah, his life, his death on the cross, and his resurrection.
Prophetic Word About Jesus Christ
Isaiah was a prophet who lived in the 8th century before Christ. Here we can look at some of his words about the Messiah, who will come 700 years after him:
Who believed our news?
To whom was the power of the LORD revealed?
like a sapling before the LORD,
It grew like a root in the dry ground.
It lacked the form to be looked at, it lacked beauty.
He didn’t have a look that appealed to our hearts.
despised by the people,
He was a man of pain, he knew the disease intimately.
He was despised as one whom the people turned away,
We did not value him.
In fact, he took care of our diseases,
He bore our sorrows.
And we are punished by God,
We thought he had been shot and crushed.
However, because of our rebellion, his body was pierced,
He suffered because of our crimes.
The punishment necessary for our well-being
It was given to him.
We were healed by his wounds.
We’ve all gone astray like sheep
Each of us went our own way.
Yet the LORD laid the punishment for all of us on him.
Although he was oppressed and tortured
He didn’t open his mouth.
Like a lamb to be slaughtered,
Like sheep standing silently in front of shearers
He didn’t open his mouth.
He was brutally tried and put to death.
For the rebellion of my people and the punishment it deserves
He was expelled from the land of the living.
Has anyone of his generation thought about this?
does not resort to violence,
Though no deceitful word came out of his mouth,
A tomb was given to him by the wicked,
But he was with the rich when he died. (Isaiah 53:1-9)