“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” (Hebrews 1:1–2, KJV 1900)
Imagine for a second a young architect. He has a vision for a magnificent building that He will design and build. However, he does not show you the finished design. Instead, he gives you some accurate glimpses of it over the course of his entire career. He tells you it will be massive, spectacular, it would exceed your wildest dreams. He mentions the place where it will be built and the date that it will be built. He tells you what it will accomplish. He gives these details progressively, a piece at a time, over the course of his 45-year career. You scratch your head trying to figure out exactly how this great edifice will look. You truly will never know until it is built. This is kind of the way God’s plan of redemption was revealed through the prophets. They could only look forward to that which would come.
The Scripture tells us, “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, But he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7, KJV 1900) Throughout the history of the nation of Israel, God foretold of their major events. These were foretold in a variety of ways, some through dreams, some through visions, some through direct revelation, some through types, some through physical manifestations, and etcetera. In the case of God’s redemptive plan these revelations were given progressively over the centuries.
While these revelations were perfectly true and the prophets did understand God’s providence in redemption, they also carefully and diligently searched for time and person who would bring this forth (1 Peter 1:10-11). It was still somewhat of a mystery yet to be fully disclosed (Col 1:26).
At the end of the Old Testament revelation, came a 400-year period of silence when there was no prophetic voice. However, at the end of the 400-years, the silence was broken. John the Baptist became the forerunner of the revelation of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. The Old Testament revelation looked forward to the coming of Jesus and His redemption. The writer of Hebrews begins this letter indicating that in former times God had revealed truth and now He has revealed it through His Son.
When we consider the teachings of Jesus, we see the great wisdom of God revealed. Jesus stated, “Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.” (John 8:28, KJV 1900) In other words, when Jesus spoke, we heard God’s very words.
Jesus spoke of how we are to live for the glory of God. He clarified the heart of the Law and explained the meaning of faith. He spoke of what was to come in His own death, burial and resurrection for our redemption. He spoke of the church age and how to function in it. He also presented things of the future, His ascension, the coming of the Holy Spirit and things yet to come. His words were rich, deep and divine. He taught us everything we needed to know.
One of the best seminary courses I ever took was the “Life of Christ.” The text book was “The Words and Works of Jesus Christ” by J. Dwight Pentecost. I believe that every believer should diligently study the life and teachings of Jesus. For in doing this, one will better understand the heart of God, His ways and His awesome plan for us.