Matthew 21:37 Christ the last prophet

Discussion in 'The Gospels & Acts' started by a1689baptist, Nov 23, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. a1689baptist

    a1689baptist Puritan Board Freshman

    My very first post (gasp!)

    In conversation with my charismatic neighbor the other day, he stated that he didn't think of Christ as a prophet (but that prophets exist today). I was tempted to say that he needed to read Hebrews, where Christ is named Prophet, Priest, and King. I'm glad I didn't, of course; it ain't there! :oops:

    That got me trying to be a good Berean. I was able to find ample evidence for my point using both OT and NT passages. In Matthew 21:33ff, there is the parable of the wicked farmers:

    33“Hear another parable: There was a certain landowner who planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a winepress in it and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country. 34 Now when vintage-time drew near, he sent his servants to the vinedressers, that they might receive its fruit. 35 And the vinedressers took his servants, beat one, killed one, and stoned another. 36 Again he sent other servants, more than the first, and they did likewise to them. 37 Then last of all he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38 But when the vinedressers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.’

    It is clear that the owner of the vineyard is the Father, the vineyard is the nation of Israel, the servants are the prophets of the theocracy, the son is Christ, and the wicked farmers are the generations of the nation's leaders. In reading Robert Reymond's A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith, Reymond gave me more than I had bargained for regarding this passage of Scripture. On p. 221f, in his discussion of the parable, Reymond says that Jesus was not just a prophet but the final prophet:

    "From the word hysteron, finally, ... it is clear that Jesus represents himself as the last, the final ambassador, after whose sending nothing more can be done." (p. 222)​

    Reymond goes on with great logic, much of which seems to depend upon the meaning of that word hysteron

    Dynamite!! This should be the answer not only to my charismatic friend, but also to those who hold that Joseph Smith or Mohammed were prophets.

    But wait a minute! This word seems to have a number of different renderings in English, depending upon the Bible translation used. Among them, "last of all" (NIV, KJV); "but afterward" (NASB); "finally" (Amplified, NLT, NKJV); "so" (New Century Version). Because of these different renderings, this key word is not particularly persuasive in showing that Jesus was the final prophet.

    Additionally, I understand that all of those who spoke under the illumination of the Holy Spirit in the OT and NT were in some sense prophets. Do we then have to look at the ages of the other NT writers to see whether Jesus was the youngest/last among them? Can that even be determined?

    The passage seems powerful. Can anyone provide references or thoughts that can strengthen my understanding?
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2008
  2. Matthew1034

    Matthew1034 Puritan Board Freshman

    Welcome to PB from a fellow Reformed Baptist! :welcome:

    Jesus is the final prophet; there are no remaining prophecies to be fulfilled about prophets to come (save the two prophets of Revelation). His first coming fulfilled both yet-future prophets in the promise of Elijah (as John the Baptist) and Himself as the Prophet from Dueteronomy 18 (John 1:14).

    Islam argues that Jesus was NOT the Prophet from Dueteronomy, rather Muhammad. We can refute this from Scripture. We have our promised Prophet, who has told us God's final words about His plan with creation.

    The Apostles were prophets, and Christians are prophets, but the only reason they were and we are is because it is Christ in us! Christ in us as the Holy Spirit will always proclaim His Word according to His Word, and this is genuine prophecy. "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ."

    Thus, we do not have the liberty to go around proclaiming "Thus saith the Lord! .... " in the way that many charismatic preachers do today; prophesy is not to tap into some vat of eternal glory or knowledge of God and predict the future, rather prophecy is to speak the Word of God according to the law and the testimony in the power of the Spirit.

    More miraculous than making gold appear or healing the blind or calling down angels from heaven is to bring upon a dead man a spiritual birth by the very words you speak. (Prov. 18:31, Gal. 3:2) These are the true signs and wonders, yea, the regenerate soul glorying in the blood of Jesus and the remission of sins.

    John 14:12 "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.
  3. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    Jesus was the Word. Prophets spoke that Word. They testified to the Coming One who would Speak for himself.

    Heb 1:1-2 "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, ..."
  4. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Jesus Christ is not the final prophet, Eph. 2:20, 3:5, 4:11 (these verses suffice to show that the prophetic function was foundational to the NT church, and not to be expected as a continuing gift); but He is THE Prophet the OT looked forward to, Acts 3:19-26.
  5. rescuedbyLove

    rescuedbyLove Puritan Board Junior

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page