“This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear Him!” (Matthew 17:5).
Hear Him! This is an imperative verb, telling us that it is a command of God. We must heed His voice, not the voice of men; that is the difference between the Old and New Covenants; between Law and grace.
At the time of the giving of the Law, God promised Israel: “I will cause to arise another prophet to you like Moses out of your brethren. I will put My words in His mouth and He will speak to them according as I command Him. And the man who would not listen to as much as that prophet should speak, I will take vengeance on him” (Deuteronomy 18:18-19 quoted also in Acts 3:22).
This promise of “another prophet to you like unto Moses” was given because the people had decided that they did not want to hear from God directly, but chose, instead, to hear from Moses (Exodus 20:19). In so choosing, the people of the Old Covenant elected to be ruled by Law, rather than be guided by grace.
Moses, the prophet of the Old Covenant, was the personification of the Law, just as Jesus, the Prophet of the New Covenant, is the personification of grace. “The Law was given through Moses, grace and truth became (ginomai) through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).
Moses we are told, was faithful as a servant in God’s house (Hebrews 3:5), “but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are…..” (Hebrews 3:6). Here then, is the promised Prophet like unto Moses, but what He brings is grace, not Law.
The grace of God is the ability to hear the voice of the Prophet of the New Covenant, Christ Jesus. Grace and Law are contrasted in the scriptures, just as Jesus, the Prophet of grace, is the Prophetic Voice of the New Covenant, so too Moses, the prophet of Law, was the prophetic voice of the Old Covenant.
Under the New Covenant, Christ is the One speaking from heaven (Hebrews 12:25); He is the promised prophet “like unto Moses”, to Whom we must listen and obey.
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me”, Jesus said (John 10:27).
Therefore, God is once again inviting each individual believer to enter in to relationship with Him, communicating directly with Him, as He did to Israel. But whereas Israel turned to the mediation of men, under the New Covenant, “there is one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5).
This is the voice to which we must listen; not to the voice of men, but to the voice of the Prophet. This, then, becomes the vital question; have I received grace? Do I hear the voice of the Great Shepherd of the Sheep? Do I follow Him?
“For from the fullness of Him we all received, and grace instead of grace” (John 1:16); that is, an endless, continuing supply of divine wisdom from the throne of grace.
Grace then, is the ability to hear the voice of the long ago promised “Prophet like unto Moses”. This grace was offered to Israel, but they rejected it in favour of Law. There is a real sense of Christianity having done the same thing.