Prophet Or Savior?
19 “And He said to them, “What things?” So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. 22 Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. 23 When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. 24 And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.” Luke 24:19-24 NKJV
After His resurrection, two disciples of Jesus are walking with Jesus but in His resurrected appearance they do not recognize that it is Jesus. In talking about Jesus to Him (as yet not recognizing Him), they refer to Jesus as a Prophet. That is a very interesting choice of words on their part because it reveals their hearts and what they believe. Just days earlier they had not called him a Prophet but they called Him Savior.
Their perception of Jesus and who Jesus was, was altered by what they saw and experienced. They had considered Him to be the anticipated Messiah. They called Him the Son of God, they called Him Savior when He walked with them and they had witnessed all the miracles. They were moved in their hearts by what they saw and witnessed and by the Words that He had spoken to them for those three plus years of His earthly ministry with them.
But something had changed in the last few days. They had watched the trial of Jesus where men thought they had decided His fate. They witnessed Jesus being beaten and scourged at the hands of men. Their horrified eyes watched Jesus hang on a cross and breathe His last breath as He died. They buried His lifeless body and closed the tomb. This was all at odds with everything they thought they understood about Jesus as the Messiah. What they saw happen to Jesus moved Him from Savior in their minds to merely a Prophet, based upon their natural vision and earthly perceptions.
As they walked with the resurrected Jesus in the verses above they were ignorant of the fact that The Lord Himself, their beloved Savior, was right there with them. They believed the physical, not the spiritual. They saw their world through natural eyes only and missed the greater spiritual reality and glory, the promise fulfilled right before them.
Before we are too hard on the two disciples we need to realize that we do the same thing. We see the natural world realities and believe that it is the final reality. We fail to realize that the Word is always right there with us. The spiritual reality of His victory is always right there beside us, walking with us in His deliverance and promises established for us. When you look at the circumstances of your life, do you see Jesus as a Prophet or as your reigning Savior?
J Todd Hostetler