Moses was of the nation of Israel. The human flesh of Jesus also descended from that nation. For Moses had declared to his people that this prophet would be “from among you, from your countrymen.”
That Christ would speak all of His Father’s words is what He also emphasized numerous times. For instance, John 12:49: “for I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak.”
That Jesus fulfilled this prophecy in Deuteronomy 18 is seen in Acts 3. For here, Peter speaks about the second coming of Christ; and points out that He is the One “whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time. Moses said, ’THE LORD GOD WILL RAISE UP FOR YOU A PROPHET LIKE ME FROM YOUR BRETHREN; TO HIM YOU SHALL GIVE HEED to everything He says to you. And it will be that every soul that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’ And likewise, all the prophets who have spoken from Samuel and his successors onward, also announced these days” (vv. 20-24).
Though we normally think of Christ as being mildly mannered in His dealings with others, yet there was that time prophesied of His righteous indignation toward those who were corrupting the house of God. Psalm 69:9 reads, “For zeal for Your house has consumed me, and the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.”
This was the very passage the Lord’s disciples recalled when Jesus “found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables; and to those who were selling the doves He said, ‘Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a place of business.’ His disciples remembered it was written, ‘ZEAL FOR YOUR HOUSE WILL CONSUME ME’” (John 2:14-17).
And though where this selling was going on was “not in the holy of holies, nor in the holy place, nor in the court of the priests, nor in the court of the Israelites, but in the court of the Gentiles” (John Gill), it was still considered part of the temple.
The Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem is prophesied in Zechariah 9:9: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
The New Testament shows that Jesus had sent two of His disciples to bring to Him the donkey they would find there, along with a colt (Matt. 21:1-3). Matthew then says, “This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: ‘SAY TO THE DAUGHTER OF ZION, “BEHOLD YOUR KING IS COMING TO YOU, GENTLE, AND MOUNTED ON A DONKEY, EVEN ON A COLT, THE FOAL OF A BEAST OF BURDEN”’” (vv. 4-5).
Judas’ betrayal of the Lord was also prophesied. Psalm 41:9 declares,
“Even my close friend in whom I trusted,
Who ate my bread,
Has lifted up his heel against me.”
In turning to the New Testament, we see the fulfillment of this in John 13:18. The setting is during the time that Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper and had washed the disciples’ feet. He then says in the previous passage: “I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ’HE WHO EATS MY BREAD HAS LIFTED UP HIS HEEL AGAINST ME.’”
Zechariah mentions the exact amount that Judas had accepted to betray Jesus in Zechariah 11:12-13: “I said to them, ‘If it is good in your sight, give me my wages; but if not, never mind!’ So they weighed out thirty shekels of silver as my wages. Then the LORD said to me, ‘Throw it to the potter, that magnificent price at which I was valued by them.’ So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the LORD.”
The fulfillment of this is seen in Matthew 27. After betraying the Lord, Judas “felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, ‘I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.’ But they said, ‘What is that to us? See to that yourself! And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself. The chief priests took the pieces of silver and said, ‘It is not lawful to put them into the temple treasury, since it the price of blood.’ And they conferred together and with the money bought the Potter’s Field as a burial place for strangers. For this reason that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: ‘AND THEY TOOK THE THIRTY PIECES OF SILVER, THE PRICE OF THE ONE WHOSE PRICE HAD BEEN SET by the sons of Israel; AND THEY GAVE THEM FOR THE POTTER’S FIELD AS THE LORD DIRECTED ME” (vv. 3-7).
Several explanations are given for why Matthew refers to this prophecy in the Old Testament as having been spoken by Jeremiah. One such reason is that “In ancient times, according to Jewish writers, ‘Jeremiah’ was reckoned the first of the prophets, and was placed first in the ‘Book of the Prophets,’ thus: Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, and the twelve minor prophets. Some have thought that Matthew, quoting this place, quoted the Book of the Prophets under the name of that which had the ‘first’ place in the book, that is, Jeremiah; and though the words are those of Zechariah, yet they are quoted correctly as the words of the Book of the Prophets, the first of which was Jeremiah” (Albert Barnes on Matthew 27:9).
It is amazing that the precise number of “thirty pieces” of silver was prophesied — and not 25, 28, 35, 46, etc. Judas, the chief priests, and the elders acted and made decisions of their own accord. Yet the Lord has proven through prophecy His ability to know of future choices and decisions that others would make.
Zechariah also prophesied of the apostles’ desertion of Jesus in Zechariah 13:7:
“Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd,
And against the man, My Associate,’
Declares the LORD of hosts.
‘Strike the Shepherd that the sheep may be scattered;
And I will turn My hand against the little ones.”
It was when the Roman soldiers, who were accompanied by Judas the betrayer, came out to arrest Jesus on the night of His last supper and after His praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, when this prophecy was fulfilled: “At that time Jesus said to the crowds, ‘Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest Me as you would against a robber? Every day I used to sit in the temple teaching and you did not seize Me. But all this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures of the prophets.’ Then all the disciples left Him and fled” (Matt. 26:55-56).
Seeing these Old Testament prophecies cited, explained, and fulfilled in the New Testament should help all to believe in the Bible’s Divine inspiration. God truly is all-knowing!(All Scripture from the NASB, unless otherwise indicated.)