There is a telling passage in Deuteronomy 18 where Moses tells us, “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers – it is to him you shall listen”. (verse 15). And later in verse 18; “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. And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him.”
No prizes for guessing who that prophet might be with hindsight, but John the Baptist wasn’t a hundred percent sure so he sent some people to his cousin, Yeshua, to double check. “Are you The Prophet?” they asked. Philip felt pretty sure, and told his brother, Nathaniel, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, son of Joseph.”
Let’s look at Yeshua’s qualifications – is He really the “Prophet Like Moses”?
- First off, He’s definitely from “among the brothers” of Israel, so that’s a good start. The Prophet must be Jewish, and Jesus’ heritage was from the tribe of Judah.
- Both were shepherds – Yeshua said, “I am the good shepherd”, and Moses also tended sheep – figuratively and literally.
- Both were sent to bring salvation after 400 years of apparent inactivity from God – the Israelites had been enslaved for 400 years in Egypt, and the 400 years before Yeshua came had been notably silent years from God.
- Both fasted for 40 days and nights – Moses while on Mount Sinai, and Yeshua in the Judean desert, when being tempted by Satan
- Both spent time in Egypt as children (as Yeshua had to be hidden there for a while as a baby to escape Herod)
- Both were born at a time when evil kings pronounced death to all Jewish baby boys in the area – Pharaoh had commanded all Hebrew baby boys to be drowned at birth, and Herod had issued a command to kill all baby boys under the age of two. Both were miraculously rescued from that threat
- Both were called by God to lead and save
- Both did miracles to testify to their God-given authority
- Both instituted a covenant of blood that brought salvation for many – Moses with the Passover lamb’s blood on the doorposts, Yeshua, Lamb of God, brought in the new covenant in his blood on the beams of the cross
- Both were given God’s public stamp of approval with an audible voice from heaven, heard by the crowd – Moses at Sinai, and Yeshua at his baptism
- Both gave up great riches to lead a humble life of service and poverty – Moses from the palace of the King of Egypt, Yeshua from the heights of heaven. Both were noted for their great humility (Numbers 12:3, Hebrews 11:26-27, Philippians 2)
- Both were initially rejected by the Jews when the foretold salvation didn’t seem as if it was going to happen. When Moses first challenged Pharaoh, things got a lot worse for the Israelites, leading to despair and anger. Yeshua’s crucifixion looked like a hopeless defeat. Both salvation situations initially looked like the promises were not going to come true. But they did.
- Both were criticized by their own families – Mary and Yeshua’s brothers in Mark 3:20-21, and Moses’ sister and brother in Numbers 12:1.
- Both were willing to sacrifice their own lives for the sake of those they were leading, and to pay for the sins of their people – Moses in Exodus 32, and Yeshua’s own readiness to die on our behalf is evident in the Garden of Gethsemene
- Both miraculously provided the people with bread to eat – manna was sent from heaven for the Israelites and Yeshua famously fed the multitudes. Twice.
- Both were accepted by Gentiles – Moses’ father in law, a Midianite, instantly believed (Exodus 18:10-11) The Egyptians too came to believe that the God of Israel was real and true. And the non-Jews readily accepted Yeshua’s message of salvation.
- Under Moses, all those who believed him, those who followed the instructions and put the sacrificial blood on their doors, were saved from death. This means that all those who left Egypt had taken a step of faith and been saved. They were no longer just Hebrews ethnically, they had become a faith community. Similarly, under Yeshua, all those who appropriate his sacrificial blood, shed for us to save us from the power of death have entered into the faith community of those who follow Him.
- Seven weeks (50 days) after the Exodus, the Israelites waited upon God to receive the Torah – now that they had been saved, how then should they live? God gave Moses His covenant and instructions on how to live as a faith community. Seven weeks (50 days) after the resurrection, the disciples waited as Yeshua instructed them to receive the Holy Spirit, and the church was born – a new faith community, and a new way to live as believers.
- Both of their faces shone with the glory of heaven, as was noted by people who saw them – Moses had to wear a veil over his face because it was beaming so much, and Yeshua’s disciples saw His glory on the Mount of Transfiguration.
- Moses chose 12 spies to explore Canaan, and Yeshua chose 12 disciples. Moses appointed 70 rulers over Israel, and Yeshua sent 70 disciples out to share the gospel.
- Moses led the people out from slavery into… the wilderness. 40 years of wandering, hardship, and a lot of lessons learned the hard way – but all with God’s help and presence. The promised land would come only later. Yeshua has redeemed us into… life with Him, still on this fallen earth. A limited time not without pain and struggle, and many lessons learned the hard way – but all with God’s help and presence. The life we were created for with no sickness, pain or death is yet to come.
There are so many more similarities if you feel like digging! But there are a few crucial differences too: Moses was not perfect, and did not cross into the promised land (until the Transfiguration in his resurrection body!) but Yeshua is perfect, and has gone before us, to prepare a place for us, and sits at the right hand of the Father.
God only saved one people group through Moses. Through Yeshua, salvation is available to every nation, tribe and tongue. Interestingly enough, a fourteenth century rabbi Rabbi Levi Ben Gershon (RALBAG), said this in his commentary on the verse in Deuteronomy 18:
‘A Prophet from the midst of thee.’ In fact, the Messiah is such a Prophet as it is stated in the Midrash of the verse, ‘Behold my Servant shall prosper’ (Isaiah 52:13).…Moses, by the miracles which he wrought, brought a single nation to the worship of God, but the Messiah will draw all peoples to the worship of God. 
Crucially, of course, Yeshua was in fact the Son of God – the very Word of God, come to tabernacle amongst us, full of grace and truth. God became flesh and dwelt among us: Yeshua the Messiah.
 What the Rabbis Know About The Messiah by Rachmiel Frydland, (Cincinatti, OH: Messianic Publishing Company, Messianic Literature Outreach, 1991) page 22, as cited by Jews for Jesus article mentioned above
See also, the Jews for Jesus article, “A Prophet Like Unto Moses” and “Moses’ prophecy of Messiah” by Hebrew4Christians.com
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