How Did Jeremiah Respond to God’s Call?

Jeremiah 1:5-6

In Jeremiah 1:6 we see how Jeremiah responds to God’s call to be a prophet to the nations. I would label his response as age-based doubt.

We Can Sympathize With Jeremiah’s Doubts

Now, again if Jeremiah is about thirteen to sixteen years old – which I argue is likely the case – then this protest is a little more understandable than if he were – say – forty years old.

But Excuses Are Inexcusable

And yet, we need to recognize that this kind of excuse is ultimately inexcusable.

So what if you’re thirteen? If God has prepared you for something – what does age matter?

To Paraphrase Jeremiah’s Doubts

You might remember that in Jeremiah 1:5 God says that he knew Jeremiah before he was born.

It’s ironic then that Jeremiah responds back to the Lord here – “I don’t know how to speak”. “You may have known me before I was born, Lord, but I don’t even know how to speak!” “You knew me before I was a baby. Well, I still feel like one!

Was Jeremiah a Prophet or a Priest?

Jeremiah 1:1

The answer to the question “was Jeremiah a prophet or a priest” is yes! Jeremiah was both a prophet and a priest.

Jeremiah was a Prophet

We tend to think of Jeremiah more for his prophecies – and we should.

We know of Jeremiah primarily through his book of prophecies in the Old Testament.

But even outside of the book which bears his name, Jeremiah is known throughout the Old Testament as a prophet who delivered God’s message to his people (2 Chronicles 35:25; 36:12,21,22; Ezra 1:1; Daniel 9:2).

And even in the New Testament, Jeremiah is known as Jeremiah the prophet (Matthew 2:17; 16:14; 27:9).

So, nobody’s doubting Jeremiah’s credentials as a prophet. It’s his identity as a priest that might surprise some.

Jeremiah was a Priest

Jeremiah 1:1 states that Jeremiah was a priest from Anathoth. We discussed that city before, but basically Anathoth was a city in Benjamin which had been given to the Levitical priests. So, Jeremiah comes from a city of priests.

Going along with that, Jeremiah’s father was named Hilkiah. And while it’s not certain that this is the Hilkiah who was the high priest in Josiah’s day (2 Kings 22:8) he certainly could be that same Hilkiah. And if Jeremiah’s father is a priest, he would be a priest, too.

So, Jeremiah is from the priestly city of Anathoth. His father is possibly the famous high priest of Josiah’s day. Jeremiah 1:1 states that Jeremiah is a priest. So, yes, Jeremiah is a priest!

So, he’s a prophet and priest, but is he a king too?

Jeremiah Was Not a King

Now, I don’t want to go too far afield, but Jeremiah did not hold the office of king in addition to that of prophet and priest.

In the Old Testament there were at least a few prophets who were priests and vice versa. There were even kings who prophesied (King Saul’s unusual circumstance comes to mind).

But never until Jesus Christ has there been a prophet who is a priest who is a king.

Summary

So, in conclusion, Jeremiah the Prophet is also a priest. But not a king.