Katelynn: Out of Africa

Dear Friends!

I’m back from Cote d’Ivoire! I’ve been home for about a month now and I want to thank you all so much for all the support you have given me. I couldn’t have gone without your prayers.

It was such an amazing trip for me I was clearly where the Lord wanted me to be. I was so blessed through this entire experience. Every bit was more confirmation for me of how I am called to Bible translation. I’ve learned that I fit really well in that sort of context and that I do have a gift for languages.

I was so lucky because I was able to do everything that I thought I was going to do. I helped with English Clubs, I edited the Nyarafolo-English Grammar sketch, as I mentioned in my last letter. And I also got to help provide colouring pictures for the Sunday school in Tiepogovogo. Some of the stories I did included Jesus calming the storm and Jesus’ disciples. And more than just providing these colouring pictures while I was there, I also taught the Sunday school teacher Jakis Kifory (pictured below) how to find and print this images on the internet.

Sunday School prep                   coloring sheets

Another thing I helped with was transferring data into the Nyarafolo-French dictionary. I put in around 800 entries and edited and corrected many of the existing entries. But about a week before I left, the data in the dictionary — over 6,000 entries in total — mysteriously disappeared. We looked everywhere possible, everywhere impossible, scanned the computer using all the resources we had, but it wasn’t to be found. And we found out it had not been recently backed up. I was able to restart it and create the template for the entries again from memory, but I only entered about 60 entries again after that. So at the moment I am really praying about going back in the near future. Possibly summer 2017. But whether I go back or not, please be praying for God to send the right person to go work on the dictionary.

I loved getting to see all of this new-to-me 20160419_141346culture. I got to stay with an amazing family there and getting to know them was one of my greatest blessings. And I was so amazed to get to see just what Bible translation is really like.Thank you again for all of your prayers and support. You have made an impact on my life, and helped me to impact others.

Katelynn Boardwell

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Jonnavin: The Work Goes On

Hello Friends

I have returned from Hungary but the mission still goes on there. I wanted to thank everyone who supported me during my time there through gifts and prayer, and I wanted to let you all know a few things that have happened since I left.

Kelenfold EFC, the church we helped with worship in Budapest, visited our church group in Tapolca on Sunday, April 10th. During the service they prayed over Szilard’s father Robert. He met with some of the visitors over lunch and later that afternoon, he prayed to accept Christ. Praise God for this and continue to pray for their family as they grow in faith. Robert’s condition is not as bad as previously thought, and that is something to praise God about, but he needed the bad news to be a breaking point for him. He needed to stop putting confidence in himself and start putting trust in God, and now he has.

As I told you, Andras was very reluctant to go home. In the last week I was there, he spoke with Shaun and Sondi and he has decided to stay in Tapolca to help out over the summer. After that he is looking at applying to Bible colleges. In particular, Capenwray Hall in England. He wants to learn more about God and find direction in his life. Pray for him as his life goes in a different direction.

Over the summer Carlaws will hold kids’ and teens’ English camps and the spots for those are quickly being filled. While I was there, we visited schools to give presentations and to invite the kids to come to these camps. The kids camp has been entirely filled and the teens camp is filling as well. There will be teams from Orchard EFC and Millar Bible College coming to help out for the camps and Roland and Andras will be there too. Pray that the Spirit will be working in the heart of the kids who will be there, and that the teams can be a real blessing to the ministry.

Also, please continue to pray for those who come to the weekly ministries, the church group, the kids club, the adult club, the youth group, and the English bible study. Pray that they will continue to come and hear from God. There are many there who still need to 20160419_141351accept Christ, those who can only be changed through God’s power.

Once again, thank you for all of your support and prayer through my time there, and I ask that you continue praying for the Tapolca mission. May God bless you all.

Jonnavin Boardwell

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Jonnavin: Footprints

Dear Friends,
There is a story of a man who walked along a beach. He looked back over his walk and noticed the footprints in the sand. For a while, there were two sets of footprints. His own, and those of God. But when he looked at the hard times of his walk, he only saw one set. He asked God why He had abandoned him in the hard times. God told him that he had not abandoned him. There was only one set of footprints, because God had carried him. Over the past few weeks there have been quite a few troubles, but God has a way of using hard times to strengthen us, and thank Him that he is there to carry us. There have been some organization issues and confusion which have frustrated many of our team members, but things are being straightened out. Pray for our team because it isn’t always easy to work together.

Over Easter Andras and Rolland traveled home to their families and Lydia traveled to Germany with her parents. I stayed in Tapolca but I got very sick. I am feeling better now, but pray that others won’t catch the same sickness. It was unpleasant and lasted a few days and I wouldn’t want someone else to become sick.

Lydia will be away for this week and we will have to do the planning without her. I am terrible at leading and we often looked to Lydia to make the plans. This has already led to a few blunders and it isn’t easy. Pray that we can have wisdom and strength to do things for ourselves.

Andras has never had an easy time at home, and his family do not all follow the Lord. Going home over Easter was hard for him and he is feeling down at the moment. He is also unsure what he will do when this mission comes to an end and is looking for studies or a job to keep him occupied when he returns home. Pray that God would open an opportunity for him, and that he would find comfort and love from others even when his family doesn’t show it. His older brother is also a new christian so you can pray for spiritual growth in him and their mother, who is not a christian.

You can also continue to pray for Szilard and his father Robert. It was found out this last week that his father’s cancer is becoming untreatable. This is sudden news when just a week before they thought they could take care of it. Though this is sad news all around, Robert showed a desire to know and trust God at church this week. He is still tentative about it but feels pressure on himself now. Pray for certainty and comfort for their whole family in this hard time.

Last month a couple came to help with the ministry here as well. Their names are Pete and Carla and they have worked here before. They will be staying after I leave and are already good friends with the people from clubs.

We have now made many trips to the local schools and are scheduled to visit two more. We have enjoyed getting to know some of the students and have invited them to clubs and camps and youth group. One boy, Gergo has come a few times and has really enjoyed being with us. Rolland has been meeting with him and talking about what he believes. Pray that through his fellowship with us that he will come to faith, he already shows interest in the Lord.

A few weeks ago we had the idea to do a community game night. We invited many of the teens and some adults from the clubs and youth group to come to the mission house and play board games. It wasn’t necessarily Bible themed, but we have been able to get to know the kids better through this event, and this is where we really got to know Gergo. It is good to have community with them and we provide the games and a meal for them. We have done two of these so far and may do another. Pray that this can shine a light into the community.

I will be returning to Ireland in about a week and a half. I thank all of you for being with me in prayer and support and will be glad to see some of you again. Please continue to pray for the work happening here in Tapolca Hungary.

Thank you all,     


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Katelynn: Thoughts on Prayer

Since I’ve been here in Cote d’Ivoire, I’ve gone to three different churches as well as sitting in on the bi-weekly translation team Bible studies. In my first month here, three of the four sermons and two of the Bible studies were on Matthew 6:5-15, Matthew 7:7-12, or just prayer in general. The first time it was repeated I didn’t think much of it, the second time I laughed. The third time I started to wonder what it might mean, and the fourth repeat I was expecting it. As you can imagine, this really got me thinking about prayer. And since the messages and Bible studies were all in French I basically had the passage and was left to my own thoughts. After about the third message on prayer God started showing me again that he really does answer prayer, even the small, seemingly unimportant ones.

Now, I knew this to be true even before this trip, but sometimes it’s nice to have a reminder. He gave me lots of opportunities to trust him with a small prayer and wait for an answer. A baby would be crying in one of the neighboring houses and I would ask God to calm the baby so the mom could get some rest. And just like that… Silence. The baby stopped. “Thank you God, that’s just what I needed.” I had lost my wallet with all my money in it. I had looked everywhere I could think of, so I prayed that God would show me where it was and again, just like that, there was a hunch in the back of my mind of where it would be. I looked in that place and there it was. “Wow God, you really do care.” And these are just two of many small examples. Each of these times showed me again how much he cares, even about little things.

Now, the reason I think he was showing me this was to prepare me to be a prayer warrior. The beginning of my preparation for this was in a youth conference I went to last November. The topic then was spiritual warfare and there was some very good teaching on the topics of prayer and spiritual battle. Then, this repetition of the theme of prayer brought to my mind again, the necessity of prayer.

So, then when the verification of the gospel of John started, prayer was fresh in my mind. Verification is a very stressful and tense time for the translation team. A consultant comes and helps nit pick the translation to see if the meaning from the Greek or Hebrew comes across in the receptor language in the best way possible. This means making corrections and adjustments every few verses. Sometimes, this can cause the original translator to become defensive, or feel attacked since it is their work that is being corrected. As you can see, this is the perfect opportunity for the enemy, who does not want God’s powerful word getting out, to try and derail the translation and tear the team apart from the inside.

I believe this is a big part of why I came to Cote d’Ivoire when I did. God wanted me to be in the verification room praying over the whole process even when the others were engaged in discussions. I prayed for the team to put on the armor of God. That their faith would put out any fires that Satan and his armies were trying to start, both their faith in Jesus as their savior as well as their faith that God wants this translation to be completed. The attacks were real. I could almost see the battle raging and I could definitely feel it.

One other thing I had the privilege to pray for during the verification was a Muslim man named Adama who was there to do oral back-translation. He was hearing the powerful words of John every day and I, along with many people, was praying for his salvation. The whole time I kept thinking that if he wasn’t blowing all this off, if he didn’t come into the verification thinking that everything he heard would be false, then there is no way he could go away unchanged. John is so explicit about the gospel and how Jesus is the only way.

The last day when they finished the verification, he told the team that wanted to be a part of God’s kingdom. Later when he was told that many people had been praying for him he said “So that’s why I kept hearing a voice inside of me.” I get teary eyed when I think about it. It was such a privilege to get to pray so much for him and then see this amazing thing happen. Even without talking to him much, through my prayers I could impact him for eternity. If anyone thinks that God doesn’t answer prayer, it is not from lack of evidence. It has to be a lack of faith.

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Katelynn: A Gift

We all love to get gifts, whether it’s your birthday or Christmas or a ‘just because I love you’ gift. Gifts make us feel loved and appreciated. Most gifts are tangible. A flute, a bible, some candy. But sometimes we get a gift that you can’t measure, you can’t touch, and you can’t see like love, acceptance or friendship. These gifts can be just as valuable, if not more so.

I believe that God has given me a gift. When I say this I’m not talking about salvation, though he has given me that and I am so grateful. I’m not talking about his love for me, though it’s also an amazing gift. No, I’m talking about the gift of contentment. God has given me a contented spirit through almost all of my life. I have had this blessing for a long time, but I’m noticing it more and more while I’m living in Africa.

Coming to Africa for the first time holds lots of challenges for a Westerner and there are many reasons why someone might not be content. First, there’s the language barrier. Communication is difficult and the language just can’t come fast enough. Then there’s the temperature. Coming from winter in Ireland to the dry season in Africa is quite a shock! The days are slowly getting hotter as the people wait for rain again.


There’s also the living situation. I live outside most of the day when I’m at home, with chickens all around and people visiting, some to get water, some just to say ‘Bonjour’. I bathe using a bucket and a cup and if I want hot water I have to heat it on the fire. Another thing is the food is different. It’s mostly made up of some grain served with the sauce that was made that day. You also have to sift the flour or cornmeal to make sure there are no bugs in it. Cooking is all done outside using charcoal. Your cutting board is your hand and hot pads are either your hand or an old worn out shirt.


To you, it might sound like I’m complaining, but really I’m not. I love every bit of these things, adjusting and adapting so that I can do ministry here. In all these things that are challenges I laugh and smile as I figure out the right way to do things. This is my gift of contentment. I don’t get frustrated when something isn’t going well, and I don’t complain. I sit with my eyes closed and I smile at the heavens, thanking God for sending me here, and for giving me this opportunity.

Now, I really want to emphasize the fact that I don’t think any of this contentment is because of me. I believe contentment is a result of the growing spiritual fruit of peace and joy together.  Paul says this in Philippians 4:12-13, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” And this is how I feel: without Christ, this contentment wouldn’t exist. It’s only through Him and the Holy Spirit working in my life that I have been given this.


I also have experienced so many things that are huge blessings. I’ve made friends in my courtyard (home). The niece and nephew of my host mom, Lazare and Rosaline, are living there and they have become my friends. Lazare speaks fairly good English, which has been such a blessing. I have been able to help with an English club and watching the students learn and advance has been amazing. Every time I say something in Nyarafolo (The language that they’re translating into) people are thrilled that I have made the effort to learn it. And I’ve watched the translation of the last 12 Psalms. It’s been so fascinating to get to see my life passion in action, how it works, all the work that goes into it, and the translation resolution of difficult phrases.

Every experience I have here makes me more excited about my calling. I feel more confirmed in what I’m called to do every day and I can’t wait to see how God works it out for me to do this great work.

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Cell Church

2016-02-19 12.27.00Scattered all over Ireland are towns and villages with names beginning with Kil- or Kell-, places like Kilkenny, Killarney, Kiltyclogher, Kilrush, Killybegs, and so on. This Irish word translates to the English word “church” and here’s why:

Many of the earliest Christian missionaries in Ireland set out to devote their lives to fervent, private prayer. Often they would find a naturally inspiring place and spend their days in meditation, worship, and prayer to God. They would build simple shelters there, prayer cells. The Irish word for this type of cell is “kell”.

But the spiritual vitality that flowed from their living faith in Jesus was attractive to others, so before long others joined the prayerful monks in their austere life, constructing living quarters of their own nearby. These Christian monastic communities were the hallmark of the early Irish mission movement. As each community grew, more formal expressions of church developed at each site. Gradually a church building, an abbot, a storehouse, a bell tower, eventually a whole village or town would spring up near the original cell. From a simple cell church to a thriving church community, many of these places retained the “kell” in their name.20160217_144208.jpg

One of the best examples of this is found at Glendalough, nestled in the Wicklow Mountains, where in the early 6th-century St. Kevin withdrew to the mountains to pray in a cave beside a lake. It is said that Kevin would stand so still in prayer that sparrows would perch on his upraised hands. There people sought him out for prayer and teaching and in time the monastic community of Glendalough was established with seminary, scriptorium, and various chapels. It is still one of the chief pilgrimage sites in Ireland.

20160217_152627.jpgWe weren’t able to see St. Kevin’s cave cell up close. The lake levels are too high most of the time to admit visitors, but we did walk a beautiful path above the cell and wander around the monastic ruins.

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Jonnavin: Continuing God’s Work in Hungary

Jonnavin reports from Tapolca, Hungary

Hello Once Again!

I have now spent over one month in Hungary, and I am getting to know the place and the people better. This last week another young man from Budapest arrived to help with the ministry here. His name is Roland and he has worked in Tapolca before. There were some troubles that kept him from coming sooner, but everything worked out finally, and he is here to help. He is much better at planning than I am, and I am sure that with him here we will have more chances to meet up with local youth. He and Szilard know each other and Roland will be very helpful in our ministry to him.

Last week I was able to give a presentation in a local school. The students were 6th and 7th grade and I was able to teach them some fun facts about Colorado. We aren’t allowed to directly share the gospel in the school, but we were able to invite them to the youth group, and get to know them individually. Lydia also shared about Canada and the kids really enjoyed it. One boy had written a few questions for each of us in English. He was excited to see people from a different culture coming into his. We will have a few more chances to help in the school and I hope that we will be able to reach some of these kids.

Over the last week, Pal, one of the men here, has seemed to change. He has been happier, more enthusiastic, and complained less about God. I ask for continued prayer for him as he has not accepted Jesus. I hope that this change is evidence that God is working in his heart, and that he will be more open. In the past few weeks he has come to the bible study, but has argued fervently against any miracles, teaching, or works of God we have read about. But this week, his only arguments were from some misunderstandings. Please pray that he is truly changing, and that he will soon come to Christ.

Also pray for one of the boys who comes to youth group. His English name is Charlie, and he has quite a lot of doubts keeping him from believing. He puts great stock in science and learning and says he doesn’t believe in miracles because he has never seen any. Pray that God will break down those walls and change his heart.

This week we had a recording session to record some praise songs for Szilard’s father. He is in the hospital and has cancer. He does not know God yet, so we hope these songs can be another step towards believing. Pray for him as he goes through treatment for the cancer, that he would become close to Christ. Also pray that Szilard would not be discouraged in his faith through this.

We will also help with music in the church in Budapest again this week. It is a practical way that I can use my gift to bless the believers here in Hungary. We will go a few more times during my stay, and I will continue to play for the church group here in Tapolca.

I thank you for your prayer and encouragement. I appreciate it during my work here.


Jonnavin Boardwell

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Jonnavin: Hungary for the LORD

Jonnavin reports from Tapolca, Hungary

Hello Friends!

I have been here in Hungary for three weeks now. I have been working with Shawn and Sondi Carlaw. They work in the town of Tapolca (ta-pol-tsa) leading English clubs and Bible studies to connect with the people of the town. There are also some other people here to help out with the mission. Lydia is a young woman from Canada. She has served here several times before, and knows the people pretty well. My other teammate is named Andras. He is from Hungary and is really helpful in translating.

Over the last few weeks, I have been able to help with some of these clubs. Every Thursday I help with the beginners group of the English club. there are usually around eight people, and I help with practicing in small groups. The students there are all older than me but they really like me. On Mondays I am put in charge of a kids’ English club. Andras helps to lead the kids in our group. We play games and help them practice English. At each of the clubs there is some Bible teaching. Shawn leads a Bible lesson at the adult clubs and Lydia and I have been teaching Bible stories at kids’ club.

On Sundays, I help play music in their church. We sing praise songs in English and Hungarian, and Shawn teaches. There is a church in Budapest that the Carlaws help with as well. The last two weeks we have traveled to Budapest on Sunday and have played music for their evening church meeting. That is just one practical way that I can help the people here.

Another is to hold youth group here in Tapolca. Every other weekend there is a youth group held here where I stay. There is also a weekly Bible study on Tuesdays that two of the local men attend. The group just finished studying the book of Acts and we are now working on Mark.

One man from the group, Pal, has very firm yet skewed beliefs. In his opinion, whether or not we go to heaven should depend on how much good compared to how much bad we have done. He dislikes God’s mercy for “bad sinners” and doesn’t like that God let his own son die. In his own words, He doesn’t like the God portrayed by the Bible. I ask for prayer for him that through the Bible studies and through Shawn’s work here, that he would really get to understand God, and that he would be truly saved.

I also ask for prayer for Andras. He is talking with his church this weekend about the work here and he needs strength. In the next few weeks I will be looking at the book of Philippians with a guy here named Szilard. He is the only young christian so far and needs fellowship. Pray for him in his walk with the LORD and pray that I could be a light to him, one that he can carry on to his friends.

Thank you for your prayer and encouragement.


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If Jesus is the Prophet…

Further reflections on John 6:14; 7:40

As he prepared for his death, Moses promised that another prophet would arise in Israel, a prophet like him. God’s people would not have to do without a godly wonder-working teacher who could reveal God’s word and ways to them. In God’s time, his Prophet would appear again.
So Moses died and Israel waited.
And waited.
And waited.
Other prophets came and went. Confrontational prophets like Jonah and John the Baptist. Wonder-working prophets like Elijah and Elisha. Writing prophets like Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Isaiah. Foretelling prophets like Zechariah and Malachi. But no prophet remotely like Moses.
Until Jesus.
When he produced miraculous heavenly food for the multitudes in the wilderness, the people recognized the Prophet. When he knew miraculously the seedy past of the woman at the well, she recognized him as the Prophet. When he taught with authority and made cripples whole, they saw the Prophet. When he spoke of delivering another covenant with God, his followers knew he was the Prophet they were waiting for.
Assuming they were right, that Jesus is THE Prophet, what does that tell us about him and our interactions with him? If Jesus is the Prophet, then what?

If Jesus Christ is the Prophet…
megaphone…he speaks to the self-proclaimed followers of God first.
God’s prophets were sent primarily to God’s people. The chief purpose of prophecy is to proclaim truth from God to people. Truth about God and people. The target audience of the preaching is almost always those who presuppose that God has a relationship to people.
If we are tempted to object with, “What about Jonah / Nahum / Obadiah?” or “Isaiah and Jeremiah devoted portions of their writing to pagan nations surrounding Israel,” we should remember that exceptions prove the rule. Examining all the pages of Old Testament prophecy, we find only about 13% devoted to those outside the Covenant People of God.
To be clear, that is not to imply that Israel was awash in devoted believers following God the best they could. In fact, the prophets were sent to preach because this was obviously not the case. God’s people needed confronting. God’s people needed repentance. God’s people needed reminders. God’s people needed holiness. God’s people needed the naked truth. God’s people needed transformation.
The point is they were God’s people.
We see the same pattern in the life of the Messiah. He came to God’s people, Israel. The bearer of the New Covenant came for the people of the Old Covenant. They were self-proclaimed followers of the One True God. Whether they were actually following him or not was beside the point. Even if only in name, being one of God’s people made them the primary audience of the Prophet.
So when Jesus the Prophet speaks, he is speaking to self-proclaimed followers of God, whether they are following faithfully or not. So the application of most of Jesus’ teaching is for believers first.
Knowing this will keep us from applying his words to others before taking the message to heart ourselves. It will keep us from attempting to make the rest of society adhere to Christian teaching. It will force us to consider and reconsider whether we are the faithful people of God after all.

…he tells the truth.
To be a true prophet is to tell the truth. In fact, there is nothing else required of a prophet but to courageously speak truth for God. Prophets do not have to predict the future, though many did, including Jesus. They do not have to perform miracles to legitimize their preaching, though Jesus did like no other. Their messages do not need to be written down and most of Jesus’ weren’t. All a prophet has to do is speak out for God, usually to a resistant audience.
Obviously, there are false prophets. Lots of liars claim to speak for God. However, if Jesus is THE Prophet, he tells the truth. We may not understand, appreciate, or enjoy all that he said. In fact, it’s more than likely that some of the things he says will grate on us, but it’s all true nonetheless.

…he knows things we don’t know.
A true prophet gets his material from God. He reveals new things to us about God or he delivers new messages to us from God. Unless we’ve already got the complete picture of everything God might say or all he plans to do, then prophets have new material for us to hear. True, sometimes God simply wants to remind us of what we already know. But almost always those messages come with new content for us to receive.
This was clearly the case when Jesus told his listeners that the old morality didn’t go far enough on murder, adultery, or the treatment of their enemies. He knew something we didn’t know. Jesus demonstrated that again when the disciples asked him how the end would come about, so he accurately predicted the way and when that Jerusalem would fall. When he explained that suffering could be for the sake of the glory of God rather than bad karma, that was new, too.
When he told his followers that he came to suffer rather than rule, it was beyond what they could believe. When he promised that he would die and rise again, it was such a foreign concept that they couldn’t even make sense of his words until after they were fulfilled. And they were fulfilled in every respect.
He knew more than they did. He certainly knows more than we do.

…he speaks the words of God himself.
Any true prophet could make this claim. In fact, Moses taught the people that they could demand it. Anything short of that and the prophet should be totally rejected.
Even Christian preachers are supposed to be held to this standard. That’s why they must be SO careful to teach God’s truth. Their task comes with this description: “If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God (1 Peter 4:11).” More ominously, their task also comes with this warning: “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly (James 3:1).”
Jesus is even more closely tied to God’s own words. Jesus is called the Word of God (John 1:1-3) and God’s final statement about his own nature (Hebrews 12:1-3). Jesus’ knowledge of God was even more intimate and direct than any other prophet had been, including Moses. He was the Son who came down from the Father in heaven. He claimed to do all that the Father was doing, say all the Father was saying, and know the plans that the Father had for the world. No sane human being has ever claimed that kind of knowledge of God before or since. But Jesus did.

…we’d better heed his words.
If all these things are true, if he speaks the true words of God, primarily to believers, revealing things that we do not know on our own, we should listen. If we take anything seriously, we should take him seriously. If we are obsessed with any ideas, we should get obsessed with his. If we care about knowing reality, we should heed someone like him. Knowing and heeding what he said becomes the most important thing of all.
Consider how enthusiastic we can get about the latest causes, the hottest new celebrity, or a charismatic politician. Think of all the time, money, and energy spent on those things. But none of them have the import of THE Prophet. None of them should take precedence over him.

If Jesus is the Prophet, it changes everything.

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Seeing a Prophet

Moses was an old man, 120-years-old, and the Lord told him that he was about to die. Now you wouldn’t have known that from looking at him. His eyes were still keen and his back was still strong. But God told him that his time was near, so he gathered Israel together to recall for them one last time two important things: the mighty acts of God on their behalf and the laws given to them from the mountain.

It was a bittersweet talk, sweet because God had done so many kind and powerful miracles for them, and bitter because the people had so often defied him. As you read through this recounting of their adventures, you can almost hear Moses’ voice rising in anger, pleading in despair, and whispering in hope. The Bible book of Deuteronomy is the telling of that tale.

The people must have been hovering between eager attentiveness and sorrow the whole time. These were the last words of their deliverer, their lawgiver, their judge. Before long they would be following General Joshua and the Wonderworking Prophet would be gone. Who would tell them God’s words? Who would reveal God’s ways to them? Who would make God known to them now? In the middle of his discourse, Moses promised them another prophet.

Deuteronomy 18:14-19, The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the LORD your God has not permitted you to do so. The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. For this is what you asked of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, “Let us not hear the voice of the LORD our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die.”
The LORD said to me: “What they say is good. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account.

Moses went on to finish his talk, climb Mount Nebo, and gaze over the Promised Land he would never enter. Then in the presence of God alone, he died and the Lord himself saw to his burial. Though it is commonly held that Moses recorded the words of Deuteronomy for us, the last chapter that records these details is clearly written by another. You can sense the melancholy of the author in the closing verses of the book.

Deuteronomy 34:10-12, Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, who did all those miraculous signs and wonders the LORD sent him to do in Egypt—to Pharaoh and to all his officials and to his whole land. For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.

Fast-forward almost 1500 years. Peter has healed a lame man at the temple in the name of Jesus of Nazareth and when the worshipers come running to see what has happened, he begins to speak about Jesus.

Acts 3:12-16, 22-23, “Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see…
For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from among his people.’

Peter told them all that the prophet Moses was promising, the one who knew God personally, the great Prophet they must heed was Jesus. Peter recognized in Jesus the Moses-like Prophet that God promised.

The woman at the well (John 4) recognized Jesus as The Prophet.

Even the crowds recognized Jesus as The Prophet (Matthew 16:14; Luke 7:16; 9:8; John 6:14; 7:40; 9:17).

As a wonderworker, Jesus was easy to recognize as a prophet. As one who would tell them God’s words, reveal God’s ways, and make God known to them, Jesus was obviously The Prophet.

What difference does it make if he was?

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