Moses’ Testimony About Jesus

John 5:45-47 says, “Think not that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses on whom ye have set your hope. For if ye believed Moses, ye would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my word?”

The last witness Jesus offered His nation to testify He was from God and His Son was Moses. In the passage above, Jesus said that Moses, to the Jews, was he “on whom ye have set your hope”. This is a fitting description of the Jewish attitude toward Jesus. In the controversy which erupted after Jesus had given sight to a man born blind, the Pharisees said to the former blind man, “Thou art his disciple; but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God spoke unto Moses: but as for this man, we know not whence he is” (John 9:28-29). And although the blind man’s answer showed both the absurdity of their answer as well as their hypocrisy, it made no impression on them. It was like the proverb “water running off a duck’s back”. Jesus had perceived their condition — they claimed to believe Moses’ writings but they really did not.

Moses specifically said of Jesus, “Jehovah thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet from the midst of thee, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken” (Deuteronomy 18:15). He added in v. 18, “I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren like unto thee, and I will put my words in his mouth and he shall speak unto them all that I command him. And it shall come to pass that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him”. This passage is quoted by Peter in his second sermon on Solomon’s porch (Acts 3:22-23).

Jesus was like Moses. Both were deliverers of their people. Moses delivered Israel from the slavery of Egypt; Jesus delivered man from the bondage of sin. Both were mediators. Moses plead with God not to destroy his nation (Deuteronomy 9:23-29); Jesus is our Mediator (1 Timothy 2:5). Both were lawgivers. John wrote, “The law was given by Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17). Other similarities between the two could be made but space is limited for a full comparison.

Moses “wrote of me” Jesus said. That doesn’t mean that everything Moses records of Jesus came first to him. Moses recorded God’s words to the serpent and Eve in Genesis 3:15 where the serpent was told that the seed of the woman “would bruise” his head. This first promise of Jesus was given 2,500 years before the birth of Moses, but he recorded it so that all mankind would know the ultimate end of Satan and the loss of his power over death (Hebrews 2:14-15). Moses recorded God’s promise to Abraham that in his seed all the families of the earth would be blessed (Genesis 12:3). It was repeated to Abraham’s son Isaac (Genesis 26:4) and to his grandson Jacob (Genesis 28:14). All these promises given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were revealed through God’s Spirit to Moses who wrote them down for our benefit. Aside from these promises, the prophecy Balaam made of Jesus also was recorded by Moses (Numbers 24:17). So while most of these predictions of the coming seed of Abraham who would prove to be a blessing to all nations were given to others, we would have no knowledge of them apart from the writings of Moses.

The blind man said to those who insisted, “We know that God spoke to Moses, but as to this man, we know not whence he is” these words: “Why herein is the marvel that ye know not whence he is and yet he opened mine eyes … if this man were not from God, he could do nothing” (John 9:30, 33). The Jews answered,“Thou wast altogether born in sin and dost thou teach us?” (John 9:34).

Jesus told the rulers that while they claimed to believe Moses and had set their hope in him, they really didn’t believe him: “If ye believed Moses, ye would believe in me, for he wrote of me”. To satisfy Moses’ fear that his people would not believe him, God gave him signs to work to convince them. Marvelous indeed were the miracles God gave Moses to work in the sight of all His people: the dividing of the sea; water from a rock; and, manna from heaven.

But Moses never raised anyone from the dead. However, Jesus did. The gospel accounts list three separate occasions when Jesus did that. And yes, both Elijah and Elisha raised a child from the dead (1 Kings 17:17-24; 2 Kings 4:25-37), but neither Elisha, Elijah, nor Moses (nor any other mortal) ever raised themselves from the grave. But Jesus both promised and accomplished this. His nation acknowledged, “This man doeth many signs” (John 11:47), but they refused to believe what those signs proved. Truly Isaiah’s words were fulfilled in the nation of Israel when they rejected Christ: “Hear ye indeed, but understand not, see ye indeed, but perceive not” (Isaiah 6:9). Truly, “There are none so blind as he who will not see”.

Jim McDonald

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