Unwilling Prophets

I was just reading John 11 today. In it Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. Afterward the Pharisees are angry and want to kill him because, you know… that’s a perfectly natural response to SOMEONE BEING RAISED FROM THE DEAD, right??

Anyway, so the Jews are trying to figure out how to deal with the “threat” of Jesus on their power and livelihood. First it’s interesting to note they don’t even think for a moment on the implications of him actually being the Messiah. As it had been for the entire history of their people, all they could see was their Earthly status and possessions at risk. They cared nothing for the redemption of sins or right standing with the Father.

The even more interesting thing to me (today) is in verse 49-52:

“But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all. Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad." (John 11:49-52 ESV)

Sooo…. Caiaphas is prophesying, and not by choice. He’s meaning to say one thing, and in one sense actually saying it, but all the while actually becoming the mouthpiece of God to foretell events to come? This isn’t because he’s a righteous man, it’s because God wills it. It isn’t because Caiaphas chooses to prophesy, God chooses for him and gives him no say in the matter. How does the psychology of this even work for Caiaphas? The more I think about this the more my head hurts.

Here’s a good writeup on this that I really enjoyed: http://www.jimmcguiggan.com/reflections3.asp?status=John&id=362

Something else I read today along the same vein:

“And if the prophet is deceived and speaks a word, I, the LORD, have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand against him and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel” (Ezekiel 4:9 ESV)

So God actually DECEIVES the prophet, gives him something false to say so as to also lead astray the one inquiring of the prophet, and then destroys him! Actually, if you look at the context you’ll see God destroys both the prophet and the inquirer, but I’m trying to focus on some observations about prophesy here.

More Questions than Answers

I often wonder how the prophesies contained in the Old Testament came to be. Some of them are the strangest thing… the author/prophet delivering them will be talking about something, then at random be clearly talking about Jesus’ coming (in detail), and then continue with what he was saying like nothing just happened. Wait, what???

I mean, did they even realize what just happened? Did they know that they were just speaking of the future or did they, like Caiaphas, have something else in mind to say? My guess is that maybe sometimes they knew and sometimes they didn’t, but even if they didn’t know, it’s funny that for the centuries leading up to Christ the Jews saw these prophesies of the coming Messiah for what they were, even if the prophet didn’t.

I don’t really have any answers here, I’m just making observations. I find it interesting that the word of God is going to be delivered, whether the prophet is a willing party or not. God is no respecter, at least in these cases, of the prophet’s “freewill” and will even use the prophet as a tool of deception to accomplish his own will!

This is a bit of a contrast to a lot of contemporary “prophesy”. I’ll admit I’m not very well studied on this, but I’ve been wondering a lot lately about how much modern day “prophesy” really resembles what’s modeled in the Bible…

but I digress (for now).

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One thought on “Unwilling Prophets

  1. Dan,
    So good to read your musings here. You definitely have asked some great questions and bring up some good points. I would like to address the first one.. how the high priest prophesied and didn’t even know it that he was calling Jesus the Messiah, the Lamb of God which would take away the sins of the world! Now talk about blindness of those in authority and power over the people of God!!! The very ones that are supposed to KNOW the scriptures AND the power of God, did greatly error! Why? Because they were not IN TUNE with the very Voice of God! They were of the WRONG Kingdom, and not of God’s kingdom that does NOT come with outward observation!

    Now consider this… the Shekinah glory of God that rested on the mercy seat of the ark had not been in the temple since the people went into the Babylonian captivity many hundred of years earlier when the ark was lost! And what had once been God’s house of prayer for all nations had become a den of thieves according to Jesus!!! So, here in chapter seven of Acts is this young man upon who the glory of God shows up upon HIS FACE!!! And what is he saying to these thieves and murderers who killed the Messiah?

    “But Solomon built him a house. Yet the most High dwells not in temples made with hands; as says the prophet, Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will you build me? says the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? Has not my hand made all these things? You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you do always resist the Holy Spirit: as your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them who showed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom you have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law as delivered by angels, and have not kept it.” (Acts 7:47-53 KJ2000).

    The glory of God is on the face of His prophet, Stephen, the glory that had been missing in their temple where he was prophesying for years and Stephen warns them that their temple is NOT God’s house! And it was that very “this is the house of God!” mindset in them that made them “ALWAYS RESIST GOD’S HOLY SPIRIT”!!! They killed the Builder of the REAL House of God which is made from living stones because they could not see beyond their own agendas and they despised HIS REAL HOUSE, the very people of God born of the Spirit of God, and sought to use them for their own profit and gain!!! They became blind with rage and took Stephen out and stoned to death the one who’s face shown like that of an angel! NOW THAT IS BLIND!
    My question is this… are church leaders today any less blinded by THEIR own agendas and any less deaf to the “what the Spirit is saying to the churches”? Brother, from what I have seen and experienced in Christendom today, we have gone full circle in the last 2000 years.

    “The disciple is not above his teacher, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his teacher, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.” ~ Jesus of Nazareth

    Liked by 1 person

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