180 – Numbers 12 – Mediator

Context, context, context. “Oh no! Here he goes again! I’m so sick of hearing about CONTEXT”! I promise I’m not trying to “beat a dead horse” as the saying goes. You’ve maybe heard me say the concept of context is arguably the most important Bible study principle we could exercise. So I don’t need to repeat it here. Usually, when we say “context, context, context”, we say it three times for emphasis. I like repeating it three times because it reminds me of three different types of context, textual, cultural, and historical.

Obviously, the more work we do to discover a given passage’s context, the better we will understand what the author is attempting to communicate. So thinking about the encounters Jesus has with the religious leaders in the gospels, context, especially historical, becomes an important consideration.

Do you remember how many conversations Jesus had with the Scribes and Pharisees where Moses was mentioned? Searching the gospels demonstrates thirty-eight occurrences of the name Moses. Here’s just one example:

John 5:46-47

           46       For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. 

           47       But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”


Here’s a succinct summary from The Lexham Bible Dictionary:

Moses in the New Testament

Most references to Moses in the New Testament:

  •     Refer to something Moses commanded
  •     Appeal to traditions about him in order to teach
  •     Compare him to Jesus in order to make the case that Christianity is the fulfillment of Judaism

Balogh, Amy L. “Moses.” Ed. John D. Barry et al. The Lexham Bible Dictionary 2016 : n. pag. Print.

I agree with the summary, but to the Jew, in Jesus’ day, Moses was more than that. I quoted John 5:46-47 above, but let me add verse 45.

John 5:45-47

           45       Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust. 

           46       For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. 

           47       But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”


The Jews of Jesus’ day had exchanged a relationship with God for a religion centered on Moses as a way (in their minds) to please God. Let me say it another way, Moses was the mediator between God and the people of Israel in the first five books of the Bible. To the Jews in the gospel, Moses (along with the Priest, Pharisee, Scribe, etc.) was still their mediator. Jesus presented Himself as not only a mediator, but their Messiah! Sadly, they rejected Him then, and most modern-day Jews reject Him today. 

Numbers 12:10-12

           10       And when the cloud departed from above the tabernacle, suddenly Miriam became leprous, as white as snow. Then Aaron turned toward Miriam, and there she was, a leper. 

           11       So Aaron said to Moses, “Oh, my lord! Please do not lay this sin on us, in which we have done foolishly and in which we have sinned. 

           12       Please do not let her be as one dead, whose flesh is half consumed when he comes out of his mother’s womb!”

Aaron appealed to Moses calling him lord to “not lay this sin on us”, and to “not let her be as one dead”, it was only after that that Moses stands in the gap and beseeches God on their behalf.

The very next verse says: 

Numbers 12:13

      13       So Moses cried out to the LORD, saying, “Please heal her, O God, I pray!”


That’s the Old Testament, but we live in the New Testament era. Paul spoke directly to the subject at hand.

1 Timothy 2:5-6

          5       For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 

           6       who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, 


It couldn’t be clearer. You have unrestricted access to God through the person of Jesus Christ. No earthly person, no matter their title is required.

Need more evidence? Look at 1 John 2:1

      2:1       My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous


Need forgiveness for sin? It goes through Jesus. Need something from God? It will come through the one and only mediator, Jesus.

Are you Jewish? Your mediator is not Moses. He’s been replaced by Jesus your Messiah.

Bible student, if you want to understand the mind of the gospel Jew or even the modern Jew, you must study the Old Testament and understand Moses.

God is so very good! He alone is worthy of all praise and worship.


All Scripture quotations from The New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982. Print.

1 Reply to "180 - Numbers 12 - Mediator"

  • Roger Streifel
    October 12, 2020 (6:53 pm)

    Great clarification as to who the non Messianic Jews believe is their mediator between them and God.

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