The Office of Jesus Christ

Willmington's Guide to the Bible

In the Old Testament three great offices were created by God to meet the spiritual and material needs of his chosen people. These offices are:

A. The prophet, an individual who represented God before man. A prophet thus exercised:

1. Hindsight. He knew the secrets of the past. Moses wrote of man’s creation, his fall, the universal flood, and other early events which transpired centuries before he himself was born in Egypt.

2. Insight. He knew the problems and needs of the present. Prophets like Isaiah, Amos, Joel, Jeremiah, and others thundered out God’s wrath against the sin and decay of their times.

3. Foresight. He knew the secrets of the future. Daniel writes of the coming tribulation, and Ezekiel describes the glorious millennium.

B. The priest, an individual who represented man before God.

1. Qualifications for the priesthood:

a. He must be taken from among men, a man with compassion for other men (see Heb. 5:1, 2).

b. He must be chosen by God (Num. 16:5; Heb. 5:4).

c. He must be consecrated to God (Lev. 21:6, 7).

C. The king, an individual who ruled for God.

1. He was to come from the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:10).

2. He was to come from the seed of David (2 Sam. 7:8-17; Ps. 89:3, 4).

As fulfilled by Christ in the New Testament:

D. He fulfilled the office of the prophet.

1. This office was predicted for him by Moses in Deuteronomy 18:18, 19 (cf. Jn. 1:21).

2. It began at the River Jordan and ended at Calvary.

3. He was recognized as being a prophet. See Jn. 4:19 (Samaritan woman), Luke 7:16 (people of Galilee), Matthew 21:11, John 7:40 (people of Jerusalem), Luke 22:64 (his enemies), Luke 24:19 (disciples on Emmaus Road).

This is his past ministry.

E. He fulfills the office of the priest.

1. This began at the cross and will end at the Second Coming.

2. He met the qualifications for the priest’s office.

a. He was taken from among men (Heb. 2:16; 4:15).

b. He was chosen by God (Heb. 5:4-6; Mt. 3:16, 17; 17:5).

c. He was consecrated to God (Lk. 1:35; Heb. 7:26).

3. He performed the responsibilities of the priest’s office.

a. He offered himself upon Calvary (Heb. 2:9).

b. He prayed (and prays) for his people (Jn. 17; Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25).

c. He blesses his people (Eph. 1:3; 2:11-22).

This is his present ministry.

F. He will fulfill the office of the king.

1. He comes from the tribe of Judah.

2. He comes from the seed of David.

"And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof" (Rev. 5:5).

Taken from: Willmington's Guide to the Bible  1981, 1984 by H. L. Willmington.