Text: Acts 10:43, 1 Peter 1:8-12, Matthew 8:16-17, Colossians 3:16, John 14:23-26
Christ remains our perfect Prophet today. He calls us to share in the work of proclaiming the message of mercy and grace He secured through His life, death, and resurrection. When we bear witness to Him, we point to the same salvation the prophets of old proclaimed.
I just can’t catch the Gingerbread Man. Every time he crops up in a children’s book, running and taunting, I grit my teeth and manage to soldier on through the story, but I just get so mad at that spicy little gingerbread guy. He seems to will himself into existence, then taunt his creator; always running, always causing mischief. I want to send him to bed without any gumdrops or sugarplums.
But I can’t send him to bed, because no one seems to be able to catch him. The Gingerbread Man probably originated in 15th century German fairy tales. In Europe, he’s known as “The Fleeing Pancake,” which, while possibly sounding even more infuriating, is such a wonderfully descriptive phrase that I may just throw my fairy tale books in the bushes and give him the chase after all.
“Run, run as fast as you can. You can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man.”
I’m afraid it’s so infuriating because it’s just so close to home. God created me in His image, and I spring up, shaking my tiny gingerbread fist at Him, and run—hard and fast—like a dog who has stolen a turkey leg right off the table. Do you find yourself running and shaking your fist, tweaking noses and pulling ponytails as you go?
We all lean full tilt in the direction of that Gingerbread Man. We run from our Creator, we ignore His prophets, and we turn our faces from Truth.
Our hearts are inclined to hate the words of authority. Jesus knew this, saying “I assure you: No prophet is accepted in his hometown” (Luke 4:24). When we see the truth we are often quick to bury it and run from it.
In spite of our best efforts to run, Christ remains the one perfect Prophet today. Indeed, He alone can unfold to us the Word of Truth. He alone can fulfill it. He calls us to share in the work of proclaiming the message of mercy and grace He secured through His life, death, and resurrection. He exhorts us, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word” (John 14:23). When we bear witness to Him, we point to the same salvation the prophets of old proclaimed.
In the past, Christ ministered as a prophet by both prophesying and fulfilling prophesy. He continues to minister to us today through His Word, the Bible. Just as the prophet is God’s messenger, His Word is His message to us. Because Christ is ascended, His prophetic Word is authoritative and trustworthy, and He promises heaven to those who believe in Him.
God makes His people His own. It is His great ministry of mercy, that He makes us His own despite the fact that we run like fleeing pancakes away from Him.
Our sinful hearts urge: “Run, run as fast as you can.”
And we run, but the prophet Isaiah’s words ring stronger, clearer, and truer:
“And a highway shall be there,
and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;
the unclean shall not pass over it.
It shall belong to those who walk on the way;
even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.”
- Isaiah 35:8
Even though our gingerbread feet are inclined to run, Christ’s prophetic ministry drives out our waywardness, and graciously makes us His own (Matthew 8:16-17).