To listen to Nancy’s response recorded live on Moody Radio click here.
The birth of Jesus, God’s Son, should not have been a surprise to the Jews. They were the writers of the Old and New Testaments who were inspired, by the Holy Spirit, to write about the coming Messiah. Their manuscripts included 333 prophecies about the coming of Jesus, his life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The first of these prophecies came shortly after Adam and Eve sinned against God which resulted in a broken relationship with Him. Because of God’s immeasurable love for those whom He created, Jesus chose to do whatever it would take to forgive them of their sin and restore their relationship, including laying down His own life.
Genesis 3:15, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
“When your days are over, and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever” (2 Samuel 7:12–13).
The prophecy that Jesus was to be born in Bethlehem was written in 800 BC. and was most unusual because one would think that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords deserved much better. After all, Bethlehem was a quiet little nothing special town.
“But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days” (Micah 5:2). 800 BC
“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem” (Matthew 2:1).
In Isaiah 7:14 are predictions about Jesus and His virgin mother that were written 720 years before it came to pass: “Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” Immanuel means “God is with us.”
The fulfillment of this is in Luke 1. “And the virgin’s name was Mary. And (the angel) came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God…And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word. And the angel departed from her” (Luke 1:26-35,38).
In the Old Testament, it was predicted that the Messiah will perform many miracles: “Say to those who have an anxious heart, ‘Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy'” (Isaiah 35:4-6).
The fulfillment of the prophecy is in Matthew 11:3-6. Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”
Jesus shows His deity by predicting His own death and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins.
“This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:28).
“Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19).
The Pharisees initially saw Jesus as a godly man and good teacher. They became envious when they realized how much people loved and followed Him. Their jealousy moved them to plot and carry out His death. The Jewish people, also did not know Jesus as their Messiah because they wanted a king who would wipe out the Roman oppression. How sad that so many missed worshiping the long-awaited Messiah because their inability to see beyond themselves.
If you were living at the time of Jesus, would you have recognized the Messiah and followed Him? Are you following Him now?
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy[a] that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:13-14).
“Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (Galatians 1:3–5).