Advent Reflections: Week 02

Advent Reflections: Week 02

Jesus is the Perfect Prophet

 

The Personal Reflection is geared toward anyone seeking to “stay on track” during Christmas, deepening their understanding of the Advent season and Jesus’ fulfilling of the prophecies about him in the Old Testament.

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The Family Reflection is designed for parents to have a tool to engage with their kids in the Bible. It will draw on the key Bible verses and themes of the Advent Series to help parents teach these core truths to their families.

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Advent Week 02: Personal Reflection

In Deuteronomy 18, the Lord tells Moses what the people of Israel can expect in the future.

“I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him” (Deuteronomy 18:18).


Throughout the Old Testament, God would raise up prophets from his people, the Israelites, to speak on his behalf. Elijah and Jonah, Isaiah, Micah and Daniel, all serving as the Lord’s mouthpiece. Hosea and Jeremiah, living, breathing illustrations of the Lord’s message.

Regarded as crazy at best, hated and persecuted at worst, the role of prophet was a tough gig. And yet God tells Moses he will raise up another prophet, Jesus. The little baby in the manger we celebrate now at Christmas will grow up to say and do some crazy things, like brandish a whip and chase people out of the Temple (Luke 2:15) and begin his public ministry with the very sandwich sign-worthy statement, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). He will make wild claims about his own divinity and will pay dearly for it.

Jesus, our Perfect Prophet, is himself prophecy fulfilled. God delivered on each and every promise made through the prophets in Jesus. Immanuel dwelling with us, the sinless thread of our redemption running unbroken through generations of rebellious veins. He is coming, they said, to bind up the brokenhearted and set the captives free. And just as Jesus himself prophesied, he was betrayed, died, rose, and ascended to heaven, securing our eternal hope by defeating sin and death for all time.

God said, and it happened, again and again. And yet, so much of my discontent stems from my own forgetfulness and doubt. I forget his faithfulness, choosing self-reliance. I doubt his goodness, favoring discouragement. I overlook his perfect provision and dwell in the not enough. But it’s in these spaces between, the then and not yet, between slavery and the Promised Land, we must cling to the great and precious promises of our Lord. For his Word never fails and he is faithful to deliver just as he said, again and again.

Four hundred years of silence broke as the Word became flesh and let out his first squalling cry. Heaven burst into song as the long-awaited Messiah emerged from the pages of prophecies into the arms of an awe-struck virgin girl. This is Advent. Not a season, but a blessed assurance. Hope, peace, joy, love, Jesus - each candle lit charging the darkness in remembrance and expectation, promises fulfilled and promises awaited.

“This beautiful revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God” (Romans 16:25-26). Christ in the manger, but a down payment on the glory yet to come.

Personal Reflection Questions


1. Prior to Jesus, God used prophets as mediators to speak on his behalf. Do you think it’s easier to listen to God now (with the help of the Holy Spirit)? Why or why not?

2. Often prophets called for people to turn back to the Lord. It’s common in our culture to view Christianity as a religion of turning from, as in turning away from things we “shouldn’t” do. Is there a difference in turning from things you deem sinful and turning toward God? Explain.

3. Where have you witnessed the Lord’s faithfulness? His goodness? His provision in your life? (If you are in a season where this is difficult, spend time meditating on the following verses: Psalms 36:5, 1 Chronicles 16:34, Philippians 4:19.)

4. In what areas do you have a tendency to doubt the Lord’s faithfulness, His goodness, or His provision?

5. Joshua 21:45 declares, “Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.” Look back at your answer for question four. Spend time in prayer addressing all of your worry and all of your doubts, laying each burden down at the feet of Jesus.

 

 


Advent Week 02: Family Reflection

Jesus is the perfect Prophet

God gives each of his children special jobs or what we sometimes call giftings. One special job that some of God’s people have is the gift of prophecy. We call these people prophets. Their job is to share messages from God with the people around them. They might also speak about the future of God’s plan or warn people that bad things are going to happen.

Verse #1: 
I will raise up for them a prophet like you. He will be one of their own people. I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him to say. Deuteronomy 18:18

Question #1: The Lord told Moses that one day he would provide the Perfect Person to tell about God’s plan. Who was God talking about when he gave this message to Moses?
(Jesus!)


Verse #2: 
May God receive glory. He is able to strengthen your faith. He does this in keeping with the good news and the message I preach. It is the message about Jesus Christ. This message is in keeping with the mystery hidden for a very long time. Romans 16:25


Question #2: All those years before Jesus came, God had a big, secret plan. What do you think God’s secret plan was?
(to send Jesus as our Savior)