It will be demonstrated how Jesus fits into each definition.
Jesus is considered a man of the Word. He had a more direct connection to the Word, as he is alluded to in the scriptures as being God, but in human flesh. Jesus was often quoted within the bible saying, "I myself, say unto you". This would lead us to believe that he spoke under his own authority, and on the authority of the Father.
Jesus can be thought of as a messenger. In the Old Testament, prophets told the future and truths about God. In viewing a prophet as a messenger of the future, Jesus imparted the news of the destruction of Jerusalem (Luke 21:20 - 22). Not only could he be considered as a messenger, but he was able to "read events and see them in God's way" (Hayes, 99). This would make him a visionary.
Jesus was a man of the present. Through use of his vision, he could be called a social prophet. He challenged the patriarchal, purity, and dominion system that were in place during his time. He violated the purity system by healing those that were no longer recognized or considered unclean. He spoke with women, and considered them part of his group. Jesus utilized an open table fellowship in a time when eating was a political act, and it mattered with who you ate. It could be said that he was advocating for a different social outlook by challenging the current system (Howard). It is upheld that God was present in his divine yet human form as Jesus Christ to discuss with clarity his revelations for a new creation of mankind during his Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1 - 2). It is believed by Christians that this served as a commentary for the Ten Commandments.
The spirit was at work in Jesus. In saying "I myself, say unto you", brings up the issue of the Holy Trinity. The Holy Trinity is belief in God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit. The argument is that God can be spoken of as one person or spoken of as three. Trinity means "three in oneness". So, in speaking of Jesus, you are speaking of not one but three people. It can be said that the spirit was at work in him. Through miracles that he performed, i.e. bringing the dead back to life, (Luke 7:13 - 16), he can be considered as much more than a simple prophet.
Jesus performed actions that shook, aroused, intrigued, and caused people to change (Hayes, 100). His actions in the temple were anti-purity acts, which upset the people there to buy and sell to the elite (Mark 11:15 - 19). He aroused the masses through speaking the Word of God to one and all, but in doing so aroused the suspicion and anger among the Pharisees. He inspired vision (Mark 1:14 - 18), enabled others to act (Mark 3:13 - 15), and modeled the way (John 8:3 - 11).
In most references within the Bible, Jesus has not spoken anything of prophesy but is being named thus. Jesus was chiefly talked about as if he was a pebble in the pond, and because of his birth, the ripples or effects of what came afterward led to the fulfillment of prophesies from the Old Testament. Jesus and his existence must be looked at from the angle as to how he fulfilled prophecy, if He is to be seen as a prophet in all aspects.
In the Old Testament, numerous references to the coming of the Messiah sparked what is called Messianic Prophesy, which lists