Deuteronomy 18:15-19 - (Moses said) "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—just as you desired of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, 'Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.' And the LORD said to me, 'They are right in what they have spoken. 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.'"
Some years ago, we adopted a rescue dog, a tiny silver Chihuahua named Lexi. Lexi was beautiful, but she was also terrified, and we couldn't overcome it. Every act of love—even offering treats—led to her hiding under the desk. How I wish I could have transformed myself into a puppy, so that I could be on her level and make her understand!
In today's passage, God is having the same trouble with the people of Israel. When they see and hear Him in His glory at Mount Horeb, they are terrified. They think they are going to die. And so they beg Moses to talk to God for them—to be their mediator—to report back what God says, so they don't have to cope with His presence. And God agrees.
But Moses would not live forever. God had already planned something far, far better than using Moses as a mediator. He said, "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." Who is God talking about? Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus came to us as God up close and little, so that we could see Him without being terrified. After all, who could be frightened of a baby in a manger? When Jesus became one of us, He made it possible for ordinary people—sinful, broken, humble—to come close to God. Suddenly, we could listen to Him—look at Him without going blind—touch and handle Him, even. People could invite God over for dinner. They could hand their children to Him to hold. They could even argue with Him, and not be destroyed!
In Jesus, we see God Himself up close. And what do we see? Someone who loves us—enough to become one of us. Someone who gave Himself for us, first in a lifetime of service, healing, preaching, teaching, caring. Someone who lay down His life for us, suffering our death and giving us His life in return. Someone who rose from the dead, first of the whole human race, and who promises to take us with Him into everlasting life and joy.