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What is so great about Jesus? 
Jesus is the truth-telling prophet

The biblical prophet had one job: to tell the truth as delivered from the mouth of God. A prophet would typically begin his speech with the words, “Thus says the Lord,” (Amos 1:3). The true prophet will faithfully deliver God’s words just as they were given. “And the Lord said to me, ‘Behold, I have put my words in your mouth’” (Jer. 1:9). 

Telling God’s truth stands out in our world because there are so many sources of error, half-truths, and whole lies. Almost everyone has spin on their message. For those who remember the days of Walter Cronkite reading the CBS evening news, you may recall how he ended his broadcast: “And that’s the way it is….” It was a simple, accurate retelling of the day’s events. Today, whether you get your news from FOX or CNN, you are aware that there is a definite angle on the reporting. Like Cronkite, Jesus had a tagline: “Truly, truly, I say to you….” (John 10:1).

Of course, alongside true prophets the world has false prophets. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). The simple test for a prophet was whether or not his words turned into reality. “When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken” (Deut. 18:22). 

Being a prophet was not a popular job. God often delivered messages through his prophets that people hated. There was no Jeremiah fan club in Jerusalem. In fact, they threw him into an empty cistern as they contemplated killing him (Jer. 38:6). Jesus mourned that God’s people often killed true prophets, before he, too, was killed for telling the truth. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets” (Matt. 23:37).

Jesus was such an important prophet, that other prophets predicted his coming. The prophet Isaiah foretold that when The Prophet came, God would send a messenger before him to announce his coming. Mark cites Isaiah 40:3 in his gospel, showing that John the Baptist fulfilled this prophecy about Jesus. “Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way, the voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight’” (Mark 1:2-3).

Jesus came into the world telling the truth from God his Father. “For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me” (John 17:8). 

Jesus told us the truth about God, his Father. He told us that the God who made all things (Luke 10:21) is a holy God (John 17:25) who punishes sin (Matt. 12:32, 25:46), but is also merciful, and so provides a way of forgiveness. “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:40). 

Jesus told us the truth about ourselves. He told us that we have refused to honor God and follow his ways (John 3:19-20, 5:23). This leaves us under God’s judgment (Matt. 11:22, 12:36) and needing a mediator to rescue us and reconcile us with God. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

What is so great about Jesus? He is a true prophet. Every time he opens his mouth, Jesus speaks the truth. In a world of persistent spin, it is a beautiful thing to know that someone simply tells it like it is, “Truly, truly, I say to you ….”