In previous posts I have shown how Moses’ ministry was a shadow of the ministry of Jesus Christ. Everything Jesus did, surpassed Moses’ revelation in quality and degree. Where Moses was commanded to speak the very words of God and complained of faltering lips, Jesus boldly asserted,
I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.” (John 12:50)
Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. (John 14:10)
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. (John 15:15)
In fact, unlike Moses who thought he was poor of speech, the crowds around Jesus recognized that he spoke well.
Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. (Matt. 13:54)
All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked. (Luke 4:22)
A second point of connection between the Exodus narrative and the Jesus narrative comes in God’s proclamation,
“I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet… (Exodus 7:1).
Since Jesus’ ministry always surpasses Moses’, it would be logical to conclude that if Moses is like God to the evil ruler, then Jesus himself must be God which he declares emphatically on numerous occasions. The Jews never missed his allusions or proclamations about being God as this passage illustrates,
“We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.” (John 10:33)
In a similar vein, if Moses’ brother Aaron was declared to be a prophet and acting priest then it would be right to conclude that those Jesus considers his brothers would also be prophets and priests. Peter and Paul both make such assertions,
…you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ…But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.(1 Peter 2:5, 9)
And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. (1 Corinthians 12:28)
Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. (1 Corinthians 14:39)
Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head — it is just as though her head were shaved. (1 Corinthians 11:4-5)
As God’s people, we are all called prophets and are gifted with the calling of speaking God’s word to the unbelieving world. Furthermore, we are sent to proclaim all that Christ has taught us and though we do it in a variety of ways, our ministry under the tutelage of Christ is superior to the ministry of Moses and Aaron.
Finally, God promises to multiply miraculous signs and wonders, but even this will not bring about repentance in Pharaoh; the same is true of Jesus. This reminds me of the parable of the Rich man and Lazarus. In it Jesus clearly teaches that the miracle of rising from the dead will not even be enough for the unbeliever to repent.
“Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’
“‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
“He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’” (Luke 16:29-31)
As we will see in the coming chapters of Exodus the 10 miracles of judgment performed upon Egypt were not enough to bring repentance to Pharaoh or his people for after releasing them, they immediately march out to war against God’s people. Such is the similar fate of Christ and his people. While he lived, the rulers opposed him and upon his death and resurrection the opposition continued and even grew with the stoning of Stephen and the great persecution that broke out upon the disciples. Yet God fulfills his promise and redeems his people by the ministry of Christ and his Holy Spirit. Let us rejoice that our savior was like Moses but even greater.