“And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,” —Matthew 5:2
There are often subtle points in God’s Word. Many of them escape us. Some are dismissed as unimportant or trivial. Yet, here is a small detail of significant importance: Matthew tells us that Jesus opened His mouth to teach the disciples. Is that merely an expression of the time?
Teaching can happen in many different ways: by example, through repetitive action, illustrations, etc. Yet, one thing we do know is that we worship a God who speaks. He spoke through the prophets, and ultimately had spoken to us through the incarnation of His Son, Jesus Christ.
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;” — Hebrews 1:1-3
Jesus Christ is that Prophet that Moses said would come. The words of Jehovah God would be in His mouth and would come from His mouth, very truth of very truth, with no mixture of error. “I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him” (Deuteronomy 18:18, ESV).
We need Christ as that very Prophet so that He may reveal to us, by His Word and His Spirit, the will of God for our salvation.
Jesus Christ would be that great High Priest foreshadowed by the office of the High Priest, especially as seen in the first one, Aaron. The ministry of the first high priest of Israel, Aaron the brother of Moses, was established by God before Aaron even came face to face with Moses in Midian. After Moses gave objections to God to justify his unworthiness to lead God’s people, God said to Moses, “Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. Behold, he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth, and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth and will teach you both what to do” (Exodus 4:14-15, ESV). Here, God would be in the mouth of him, who would be Israel’s first high priest. This anointing upon Aaron’s mouth is not a trivial matter and is in fact important in his identification as a mediator and intercessor, as it is written what the LORD said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. You shall speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron shall tell Pharaoh to let the people of Israel go out of his land” (Exodus 7:1-2, ESV). Not only was Aaron the mediator between Moses and Pharaoh, he was also the mediator between Moses and the children of Israel, as the LORD also said to Moses concerning Aaron, “He shall speak for you to the people, and he shall be your mouth, and you shall be as God to him” (Exodus 4:16, ESV). These intercessions of Aaron’s foreshadow the sacrificial offering and intercessions of Christ.
We need Christ as that great High Priest so that by His once offering up Himself a sacrifice to satisfy divine justice, He reconciles us to God and makes continual intercession for us.
Jesus Christ is that King the scriptures said would come. The judgments of Christ the King were prophesied to be expressed with perfect justice and holiness that could only come from heaven above: “An oracle is on the lips of a king; his mouth does not sin in judgment” (Proverbs 16:10, ESV).
We need Christ as that holy King to pronounce perfectly all His commands, so that we may be brought into submission to Himself, that by His pure and authoritative Word He may rule over us and defend us, and that by the almighty power of His effectual Word He may restrain and conquer all His and our enemies.
Jesus Christ is very God who condescended to put on human flesh to save men’s lives by being to fallen men, very Life itself. When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness to turn stones to bread, the Lord quoted the last part of Deuteronomy 8:3, “And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.” Life comes from the mouth of God because it is decreed by the mouth of God and sustained through the mouth of God.
It is necessary for Christ to be God incarnate or else there is no salvation for fallen men. Jesus Christ is the living and eternal Word (John 1:1), who is not only the fulfillment of God’s Word, but also the expression and embodiment of every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.