Deuteronomy 18:18-19 says, “I will raise up for them a Prophet like you [Moses] from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.”
As we consider this verse, we should realize that there are so many amazing similarities to see between the life of Moses and that of Jesus. I’m amazed that many of us have never noticed them before. This was God’s way of showing His people the fulfillment of God’s promise to Moses.
In Exodus 1, Pharaoh ordered all male babies to be thrown in the Nile River. The Talmud teaches that this was a result of his astrologers warning him that a child would be born that would overthrow him. The Targum Onkelos says it was because Pharaoh had a dream which was interpreted to mean that an Israelite child would be born that would eventually destroy Egypt.
As we read the New Testament, we notice that King Herod was warned by wise men from the east of Jesus’ birth and His kingship. Even though Herod asked to be informed of the child’s whereabouts, the wise men did not return to him because they had been warned not to in a dream. Matthew 2:16-17 gives us Herod’s response: “Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men.” This event in Jesus’ short life was to parallel that of Moses’.
There is more to see about Jesus in the life of Moses. Moses most likely lived with his family in Goshen until he was weaned (~2 years old). After that, he lived in Egypt with Pharaoh’s daughter. After Moses grew up, he left Egypt after the death of an Egyptian and eventually dwelt in Midian.
After Jesus was circumcised and brought to the temple in Jerusalem, Jesus lived in Nazareth until Joseph was warned in a dream to flee to Egypt. This would have been about the time Jesus was 2 years old (Matt. 2:16). After Herod’s death, Joseph was notified in a dream that it was safe to return to the land of Israel; therefore, Jesus came out of Egypt and grew up in Nazareth. We can see another parallel here — the death of someone caused Moses and Jesus to come out of Egypt.
In the latter half of Exodus 2, Moses was in Midian. He sat down by a well and soon met the seven daughters of Reuel, the priest of Midian. Moses came to their rescue when other shepherds came and drove them away as the young ladies were trying to water their father’s flock. Zipporah, one of these daughters eventually became his wife. Isn’t it unusual that Abraham’s servant chose Rebecca for Isaac when she came to a well and Jacob fell in love with Rachel when he met her a well? It should be no less surprising to note that Jesus met the woman from Sychar at a well and that she believed in Him and became part of the Bride of Christ.
During Moses time in Midian, I’m sure he had plenty of time to think about his former life in Egypt. At some point in Egypt, he found out he was Hebrew and he identified with his people who were in slavery. He sensed the need to help them but he stilled required skills he did not have. While in Midian, he learned how to be a shepherd in rugged terrain. This prepared him to lead the mixed multitude that would come out of Egypt and enter into a long period of wandering in the desert.
Even at birth, Jesus was God incarnate. At some point in His physical development, He had to know who He really was. The Scriptures tell us that He grew in wisdom, in stature, and in favor with God and man. He studied the Scripture in order to prepare Himself for ministry throughout Israel and to fulfill the prophecy that had to be finished during His first time on earth. Meanwhile, He learned carpentry and experienced a life similar to that of most Jews so He could relate to those around him and explain the Kingdom of God in parables they could relate to. He saw that His people were in slavery to sin and He earnestly desired for them to break free and come back to God. He knew His ultimate destiny was to be the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world. He remained focused on that until His task was ultimately accomplished.
As I consider my life, I realize where I’ve come from and have a sense of God’s leading for my future. I’m sure where I’ve been has prepared me for the present and my ultimate destiny at least to some degree. As I consider ministry options, sometimes I wait. Occasionally, I take a step of faith only to find out I still lack the skills for what I think God wants me to do and/or that it is not God’s timing yet. No matter what I do, each day requires faithfulness to God’s commandments. God often sets doors before me that I must walk through. Sometimes there are times of blessing and other times I encounter trials but I know that I’m being shaped for whatever lies ahead.
How about you? What do you think God wants you to do? Have you made an attempt at something and feel like a failure? Perhaps, only your timing is off or maybe you need to develop some more skills first. Training in knowledge and spiritual warfare, gaining wisdom, walking with discernment, and waiting on the Lord can be frustrating and difficult. Even the actual tasks that lie ahead of us can be very challenging so don’t always feel like you have to rush. Ask God for discernment and take one step at a time. God orchestrates everything around you and will draw you in at the right time. As you fulfill His plan, you will bring glory to the Lord. At some point, you might be amazed at how much your life has in common with Moses and Jesus. After all, one of our goals is to reflect the image of Christ.