It may come as a surprise to learn that followers of the prophet Muhammad make use of the Bible to bolster their claims to be adherents to the “true” religion.
Deuteronomy 18:18 is one example of an effort to use a biblical passage to validate prophetic claims for the prophet Muhammad: “I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him”
As Moses neared the end of his life and ministry, we find God preparing Israel for life without Moses. The prospect of losing their go-between with God caused nervousness among God’s people. Therefore, He admonished them not to follow the practices of neighboring tribes. Many of them when in need of guidance, or knowledge of the future, sought out witches, soothsayers, sorcerers, or mediums. God’s clear counsel warned Israel to avoid turning to the occult for the answers to life’s puzzles.
Additionally, God provided them with the blessed assurance that He would provide them a living connection between heaven and earth. So, smooth operations would continue because God would raise up another prophet just like Moses.
Islamic scholars have appropriated the promise of Deuteronomy 18, and declared that its prophetic insights referred to the coming of Muhammad as God’s prophet. This, they maintain is proof of the truth of Islam for all and to all who believe the Bible is God’s Word. In concurring with this misapplication of Scripture, Dr. Jamal Badawi, writing for islamicity.com states, “There were hardly any two prophets who were so much alike as Moses and Muhammad.”
With those words, Dr. Badawi asserts that, because Moses and Muhammad were so much alike, the birth and life of the prophet were the fulfillment of God’s Deuteronomy 18:18 promise. However, we find Muhammad nowhere in Scripture.
Furthermore, since God was speaking to Israel, when He said He would raise up a prophet from among their brethren, such a prophet would of necessity have to have been a Jew. Unquestionably, the prophet Muhammed was not Jewish.
Nonetheless, there is One whom the Bible indicates is like Moses, spoken of by God. Of course, that is Jesus, and He had much more in common with Moses:
• Moses was born a Jew of Hebrew parents (Exodus 2:1, 2). Jesus was, too (Matthew 1:1-16, John 8:42).
• Moses was targeted for death by royal decree (Exodus 1:15, 16). Likewise, Jesus (Matthew 2:16).
• Moses lived his early years in Egypt, and divine intervention miraculously saved him (Exodus 2:10). The same is true for Jesus (Matthew 2:14, 15).
• Moses fasted forty days and forty nights without food or drink (Exodus 34:28). Jesus also fasted forty days and forty nights (Matthew 4:2).
• Israel received bread from heaven through Moses (Exodus 16:14, 15). Israel received through Jesus the Living Bread from heaven (John 6:35).
• As a shepherd, Moses led Israel through the wilderness (Exodus 3:1). As the Good Shepherd, Jesus leads His followers through the wilderness of sin (John 10:10, 11).
• As Savior of Israel, Moses delivered God’s people from slavery to Pharaoh (Exodus 6:11). As Savior of the world, Jesus deliverers God’s people from slavery to Satan (Romans 6:1-6).
• Moses offered his own life on behalf of Israel’s sins (Exodus 32:30-33). Jesus sacrificed His life on behalf of the sins of the world (John 17).
These passages and many others aptly identify Jesus as a Prophet like Moses. Because, like Moses, Jesus was a Jew, of Jewish parents, a Leader, a Prophet, a Lawgiver, the Savior, a Teacher, a Priest, a Healer, a Mediator between God and His people, and a speaker of God’s words.
Thus, Jesus is the fulfillment of Deuteronomy 18 and that’s no surprise. The only real surprise is that having claimed to have read the Bible, so many have not yet come to recognize that as the Word of God, Jesus is the Prophet raised up like Moses. Still, He is much more. He is the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world, and the Messiah for all mankind.