In comparing Jesus with Moses, the author of Hebrews says that both Jesus and Moses were faithful to their calling. But Jesus deserves more honor just as the builder has more honor than the building. He then adds, “Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later.” Moses was a prophet and made some interesting predictions about the future, most significant of which comes at the end of his five books in Deuteronomy. In chapter 31 and verse 29, Moses says that he knows they will disobey the laws that he brought to them from God. Although they spread out across two mountains and shouted “we will obey” back and forth, Moses knew they would fail. This is probably part of what the writer of Hebrews was referring to, but I’d argue there was something more.

When confronted by the religious leaders for healing a lame man on the Sabbath, Jesus rebuked them by saying, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me” (John 5:39). Further in that discussion Jesus explains that there will be a witness against them for rejecting Him. He won’t have to testify against them, for their own prophet, Moses, will convict them. Jesus says in John 5:45-46, “Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me.” What did Moses say about Jesus? When the nation refused to hear from God on the mountain out of fear, Moses tells them that God will raise up a prophet from amongst themselves to speak to them. He says in Deuteronomy 18:18-19, “I will raise up a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites. I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell the people everything I command him.  I will personally deal with anyone who will not listen to the messages the prophet proclaims on my behalf.”

Jesus is that Prophet! Moses’ testimony stands as a witness to the future proclamations of Jesus. Moses was the greatest of Israels prophets. Whoever wrote the postscript to Moses’ life (Maybe Joshua) said of Moses, “And there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face.” John writes something similar in John 1:1, “In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God.”  The Greek phrase we translate “with God” is “pros ton theon.” Lenski suggests the phrase means that Jesus was “in the presence of God and turned in loving, inseparable communion toward God, and God turned equally toward him.”[1] According to another commentator, “The word was used to describe being ‘face to face’ with another.” I believe John is clearly identifying Jesus as the prophet that Moses prophesied about. So even Moses tells us, “Jesus is greater! Listen to Him!”

[1] R. C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of St. John’s Gospel (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House, 1961), 32–33.