As promised, the “Prophet like Moses” will be further identified as Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).
Keep in mind that during the time of Christ, the Jews were still waiting for the fulfillment of three distinct prophecies. The Gospel of John tells us:
“Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, ‘I am not the Christ.’ And they asked him, ‘What then? Are you Elijah?’ He said, ‘I am not.’ ‘Are you the Prophet?’ And he answered, ‘No.’” (John 1:19-21).
Hence the three promised luminaries are
2) Christ (the Messiah) and
3) the Prophet.
Certainly John (Qur’anic Yahya alayhissalaam) was a prophet, just not “the Prophet”. If John the Baptist is Elijah or in the spirit of Elijah and Jesus is the Christ, then who is the Prophet? The Christian will say “Jesus!(?)” He simply meshes together the Prophet and Messiah and claims that they are one and the same person. But there are three figures mentioned, not two! I quoted Harris in Chapter 4 who said: “In the original texts, neither the Mosaic prophet nor the anonymous servant (Isaiah 53) is associated with the Messiah, and we do not know whether these two unidentified figures were given messianic emphasis before the Christian period.”
The “Prophet like Moses” is not the Messiah
The Christian notion that the Prophet and Messiah are the same person is completely exploded when we continue to examine the Fourth Gospel. In John 7:40 we are told that the people of Palestine, in wonderment of Jesus (‘Eesa ibn Maryam alayhissalaam), cannot agree upon his spiritual identity:
“Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet. Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, shall Christ come out of Galilee? Hath not the scripture said, that Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was? So there was a division among the people because of him” (John 7:40-43).
From this it is clear that there was a difference of opinion regarding the mission of the son of Mary and that the Jews of the first century did not believe Deuteronomy 18:18 to be a messianic prophecy. The Prophet and the Messiah are two distinct persons, not one and the same. Yet the Christians call John as Elias (Elijah) and Jesus as the Christ as well as the Prophet? Why? Because the Prophet never came? Tell your Christian buddy, “My friend, he did come. His name was Prophet Muhammad, a Mercy unto all mankind, and you are missing the bus!” The people further reason that if Jesus is the Christ, he had to have come from Bethlehem. We read in Micah 5:2:
“But thou, Bethlehem, small as you are among the towns of Judah; from you shall arise a king (Christ) who shall shepherd my people, Israel (Micah 5:2).”
Obviously these common folk were not aware of the fact that Jesus was actually born in that city.
We are told:
“Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,) Doth our law judge [any] man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth? They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Study the scriptures, the Prophet does not come from Galilee. And every man went unto his own house” (John 7:50-53).
The Pharisees, the educated doctors and lawyers of the Torah, stress to the people that the Prophet definitely does not come from Galilee. Therefore, Jesus is not the Prophet. It’s quite interesting that the Pharisees do not seem to dispute the possibility that Jesus is the Christ. This may be due to the fact that these older, more educated men might have had some sort of background knowledge of Jesus and his mother Mary and their story many years prior in Bethlehem. The Prophet, however, was to come from the Israelite brethren, the Ishmaelites, from the lineage of Kedar, not David. The argument of the Pharisees is so convincing that we are told:
“And every man went unto his own house.”
Yet they are continually held in suspense regarding the question of Jesus as the Christ. In John 10:24, just three chapters later, they ask him outright:
“If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
It seems that the Jews have collectively abandoned the idea that Jesus is the Prophet of Deuteronomy 18:18 because the Prophet is never mentioned again in the Fourth Gospel.
John further says:
“Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, ‘This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.’ Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, he departed again to the mountain by Himself alone” (John 6:14-15).
Let’s not forget that the crowds who saw Jesus perform his miracles were for the most part the peasants of the Jewish society. Although the works of the Messenger of God Jesus easily softened their hearts, they were by no means scholars of scripture. It becomes clear from the text that it was because they perceived him to be the Prophet that they schemed to force his earthly kingdom, the purist Islamic Kingdom of God spoken of by the Baptist and Jesus himself. Jesus knowing their error, since he was not the Prophet, departed to the mountain alone.
Apparently “Peter” (Acts 7:37) should have given his proofs as to why he thought Jesus was the one foretold in Deuteronomy 18:18, yet he is as silent as a mouse. In fact, the real apostle Peter (Shimon bar Yonah) would not make such an ignorant and erroneous statement, but Luke, being a disciple of the notorious Paul would, and has.