Jesus and Moses are among the two most heroic characters in the bible. The two trusted in God and played a key part in delivering God’s message to his people and being leaders during their existence. And though the two existed during two totally different timelines, the book of Mathew describes Jesus as the New Moses. So, how is Jesus the new Moses?
Jesus is referred to as the new Moses because the life of Moses, which is accounted for in the Old Testament, is in so many ways parallel to that of our savior and the son of God, Jesus Christ. For example, Moses played a crucial role in delivering the Israelites from slavery, foreshadowing the role of Jesus dying for us to deliver us from our sins. Furthermore, both Jesus Christ and Moses were born when God’s people were required to be rescued.
So, why is Jesus called the second Moses? What does it mean that Jesus is the second Moses? Where in the bible is Jesus called the second Moses? Why would Mathew use Moses as a model for Jesus in his Gospel? How does Jesus compare with Moses? What are the parallels between Jesus and Moses? Is the title of second Moses appropriate for Jesus? How does Jesus connect to Moses? Continue reading to get the answers to these questions.
Why is Jesus called the second Moses?
As stated earlier, Jesus is called the new Moses because their lives have many similarities. Both Jesus and Moses rescued God’s people. As Moses rescued the Israelites from Egyptian slavery and led them to the Promised Land, Jesus rescued us by dying for our sins, delivering us from our sinful nature. Both two were born during a time when God’s people really required a savior.
What does it mean that Jesus is the second Moses?
Jesus is referred to as the second Moses because their main mission on earth was quite similar; to rescue God’s people from slavery. The two were mediators between God and his people and constantly interceded for the people of God. At any time the Israelites sinned against God, Moses went to petition on their behalf before God. That is precisely who Jesus was to men. Even at the cross, where he had been tortured and crucified, he prayed to God to forgive those who had done this to him as he noted that they did not know what they were doing. Therefore, Jesus being the second Moses means that what the two prophets came to accomplish on earth had a close relation.
Where in the bible is Jesus called the second Moses?
There is nowhere in the bible where Jesus is directly given the title of “the New Moses.” However, Mathew prominently compares Jesus to Moses throughout the Gospel. A significant way that Jesus is depicted as Moses in the book of Mathew is through the sermon on the Mount. Moses gave out the Ten Commandments that all believers should adhere to at Mt Sinai. Moses also talked to God intimately and delivered his message. Furthermore, through him, the Israelites were delivered from Egyptian slavery. Evangelist Mathew portrays Jesus as a prophet who embodied all the three principal actions Moses did.
Why would Mathew use Moses as a model for Jesus in his Gospel?
Though the bible does not clearly indicate why Mathew used Moses as a model for Jesus in his Gospel, the scripture indicates that it was to fulfill the prophecy of Moses that God would raise another prophet among the Israelites (Deuteronomy 18:15). During his last moments on earth, Moses prophesized that God will raise a prophet who will possess qualities like him. The Israelites must obey him as he is worth being listened to. Therefore, by Mathew portraying Jesus as the second Moses, it is a fulfillment of a prophecy.
Comparing Jesus and Moses
There is a lot to be addressed regarding the comparison of Jesus and Moses. Both two were the greatest prophets of their times and were used mightily with God to communicate his word to us as well as save us from our slavery. Moses and Jesus were lawgivers who spoke directly to God and never uplifted themselves but lifted the name of God in everything they did.
Furthermore, both the two prophets were mediators of a covenant between Humanity and God. Exodus 34:27 says, “And the Lord said to Moses, write these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.” The New Testament is clear that Jesus is the New Covenant. Luke 22:20 says, “And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, this cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”
Another key comparison between Jesus and Moses is in their humility and meekness. Both were known for their humility and how they walked with God. The book of Numbers 12:3 notes that Moses was the most humble person to exist on the face of the earth. On the other hand, Jesus notes in the Gospel of Mathew 11:29 that he is lowly in heart.
Moreover, Moses possessed a quality that most prophets did not, but Jesus did. They both performed miracles. Most of the miracles that Moses performed have a close resemblance to those that Jesus performed, and the most notable miracle that closely relates to that of Jesus is providing bread in the wilderness (Exodus 16:35).
Before Jesus and Moses began their ministry, God had a supernatural moment with them in which he prepared them for what awaited them. For Moses, God met him at the burning bush and instructed him on what to do to deliver the Israelites from the hands of Pharaoh. On the other hand, during the baptism of Jesus just before he began his ministry in the wilderness, the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove landed on Jesus, and God’s voice was heard from heaven, and God acknowledged that Christ is his son, and he is pleased with him.
Parallels between Jesus and Moses
The first parallel and the major one is that they both rescued God’s people as they were born when the people of God were oppressed. Moses was born when the Egyptians, under the leadership of King Pharaoh, were oppressed. And for Jesus was born when the whole world was being oppressed and bounded by sin. They both saved us from the oppressors.
Another key similarity between Moses and Jesus is that they were born when they had to be hidden as the leaders of the time wanted to kill them. When Moses was three years old, King Pharaoh ordered that all male babies be murdered (Exodus 2). On the other hand, King Herod ordered all babies under the age of two years to be killed during Jesus’ time.
Is the title of second Moses appropriate for Jesus?
Referring to Jesus as the second Moses is appropriate because he held several qualities that Moses did have. As mentioned earlier, their lives had many similarities from birth and throughout their mission on earth. They both intimately communicated with God and delivered God’s message to the people. However, though Jesus is the second Moses, he is more than Moses because he put to an end the works of the law that bound us; he introduced faith in the New Covenant.
How does Jesus connect to Moses?
Moses is the key mediator of the Old Covenant, while Jesus is the mediator of the New Testament. Furthermore, aside from the many similarities between the two leaders, they connect because just before Moses died, he made a messianic prophecy that is believed to be about Jesus. Deuteronomy 18:15 says, “The Lord your God will raise for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites, and you must listen to him.”
The prophet whom Moses prophesized about was to be like him; God himself will raise him, he should be obeyed, will be like Moses, and will rise from the Israelites. Only Jesus carries these qualities that Moses described in the prophecy.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.