Prophet, Priest, & King
NOTE: These notes are my own, but they are meant to supplement Session 9 of the Spring 2016 Gospel Project Chronological curriculum.
This weeks Gospel Project lesson is centered around the story of Gideon in Judges 6&7. Gideon’s story is one of an unlikely and unconventional warrior-leader of God’s people. As the lesson points out though, before God called Gideon to lead His people in battle, He sent a prophet to show them their sin. We can learn something about Jesus through both of the men God sent to save His people.
For centuries, God’s people have noted that Jesus fulfills three offices that we desperately need as humans. These offices are that of a prophet, a priest, and a king.
Westminster Shorter Catechism Q. 23:
Q. What offices doth Christ execute as our redeemer?
A. Christ, as our redeemer, executeth the offices of a prophet, of a priest, and of a king, both in his estate of humiliation and exaltation.
In this story, we get to see two of those roles played out through the history of Israel.
Jesus as Prophet
“When the people of Israel cried out to the LORD on account of the Midianites, the LORD sent a prophet to the people of Israel. And he said to them, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: I led you up from Egypt and brought you out of the house of slavery. And I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all who oppressed you, and drove them out before you and gave you their land. And I said to you, ‘I am the LORD your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell.’ But you have not obeyed my voice.””
Judges 6:7-10 ESV
When the people cried out to God for deliverance, God didn’t just send someone to tell everyone that every little thing was gonna be alright. He sends someone to meet them in their sin, and confront it. God takes sin seriously, and his revelation to us will confront our wickedness and rebellion.
Jesus is the Word of God (John 1:1&14). He fully communicates everything to us that God has to communicate to mankind about Himself. That includes the truth about our desperate state as those born into rebellion. “The word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing” (1 Cor. 1:18) because those who are perishing have not seen the reality of their desperate state.
Jesus tells us our desperate position and the path to deliverance with both His words and His actions on the cross. He is the true prophet.
Westminster Shorter Catechism Q. 24:
Q. How doth Christ execute the office of a prophet?
A. Christ executeth the office of a prophet, in revealing to us, by his word and Spirit, the will of God for our salvation.
Jesus as King
Of course the people didn’t just need someone to tell them their problem and how to fix it. They needed someone stronger and wiser than themselves to guide, protect and deliver them. Gideon may not have been crowned king, but he was certainly a warrior leader and deliverer of God’s people.
Through Jesus death, burial, and resurrection, we find victory over our great enemy: sin. Not only that, He is the wise and powerful ruler of the church (Col. 1:18 & Matt. 28:18), and He promises a glorious return where the score will be settled and He will stand triumphant with His people (Rev. 19:11-16).
Jesus delivers us from our enemies, and stands as our victorious king. He is the greater king.
Westminster Shorter Catechism Q. 26:
Q. How doth Christ execute the office of a king?
A. Christ executeth the office of a king, in subduing us to himself, in ruling and defending us, and in restraining and conquering all his and our enemies.
Jesus as Priest
If you are paying attention, we skipped one of Jesus’ offices. While Judges 6 may not include a priest, we see the need for this office throughout scripture. We don’t just need someone to inform us of our problem and the path to victory, we don’t just need a warrior leader, we need a substitute to take on the wrath we deserved.
Jesus is both priest and sacrifice. He stands between the wrath of God and the people of God and intercedes for us. He does this, “not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.” (Heb. 9:12)
Jesus is the “one mediator between God and men” who mediates not based on the sacrifice of another, but by giving of Himself. He is the perfect priest and the spotless lamb.
Westminster Shorter Catechism Q. 25:
Q. How doth Christ execute the office of a priest?
A. Christ executeth the office of a priest, in his once offering up of himself a sacrifice to satisfy divine justice, and reconcile us to God; and in making continual intercession for us.
The story of Gideon gives us many great examples of faith, but at the end of the day, Gideon was an imperfect leader, with a temporary victory, and a spotty legacy. He only points us to one who is greater. The true prophet, the perfect priest, and the greater king.