A Prophetic Parable
The prophetic call and ministry, in particular, is characterised by the principle that the man is the message. Their lives, in fact, become a "prophetic parable", to those who have an ear to hear. This was the case with:
- Isaiah's life and ministry, including the naming of his children (Isa 8:3ff);
- Ezekiel's lying on his side (Ezk 4:4ff), and his wife's death (Ezk 24:15-24);
- Hosea's marriage and naming of his children (Hos 1:2 ff).
Even the ordinary details of life are woven into the fabric of an eloquent prophetic statement.
Isaiah's self-referencing as a 'sign and wonder' (Isa 8:18) is quoted by the writer to the Hebrews as the words of Christ (Heb 2:13), showing that every child of God wholly identified with Him will be a 'sign and wonder'. Through intimacy with Christ they will be a prophetic statement to their generation.
Simeon, filled with the Spirit, prophesied over the Christ-child in the temple foreshadowing the call over every prophetic life,
this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed (Luk 2:34)
The prophet, as a sign, provokes response.
He will either be a rock of offence or a stepping stone. Their very existence is provocative. It seems the atmosphere of the prophet's life is confrontational, revealing the motives of the human heart and exposing demonic strongholds. And this is sometimes without having to speak!
Response to the man, sent from God as a prophetic parable, is in effect our response to the message. This was the case in Jesus' day and no less today.
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The Orton Story
"Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city ....
"Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.
"Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!
"For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!'"
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