(NOTE: All Scripture verses are taken from the New International Version, unless otherwise stated.)
FOCUS: “This will be a sign to you!”
KEY SCRIPTURE: Luke 2:8-18
“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shown around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today, in the town of David a Savior has been born to you: He is Christ the Lord. This shall be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’
“Suddenly a great company of heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.’
“When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’
“So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and the baby, who was lying in a manger. When they had seen Him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.”
Prophecy connections concerning the Messiah’s birth:
Genesis 3:14-15 — He would be born of the seed of a woman and eventually “crush the head” of Satan.
Fulfilled by Jesus: “… an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins’ (Matthew 1:20-21).
Isaiah 7:4 — He would be born of a virgin.
Fulfilled by Jesus: “This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:18).
Psalm 2:7 — He would be the Son of God.
Fulfilled by Jesus: “As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on Him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased’ ” (Matthew 3:16-17).
Numbers 24:17 — He would be a descendant of Abraham’s grandson, Jacob (renamed ISRAEL by the Lord God).
Genesis 49:10 and Jeremiah 23:5 — He would be a descendant of Judah (one of ISRAEL’s twelve sons) and of King David, also a descendant of ISRAEL.
Fulfilled by Jesus: “Now Jesus was about thirty years old when He began His ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph … [a descendant of] David, the son of Jesse … [a descendant of] Judah, the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham … [a descendant of] Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God” (Luke 3:23-37).
Micah 5:2 — He would be born in Bethlehem.
Fulfilled by Jesus: “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him’ ” (Matthew 2:1-2).
Prophecy connections concerning the Messiah’s ministry:
Isaiah 40:3 — He would be preceded by a messenger.
Fulfilled by Jesus: “In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the desert of Judea and saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.’ This is He who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah: ‘A voice of one calling in the desert, “Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him” ‘ ” (Matthew 3:1-3).
Isaiah 9:1-2 — His ministry would begin in Galilee.
Fulfilled by Jesus: “When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He returned to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, He went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali — to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah: ‘Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, along the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles — the people living in darkness have seen a great light …’ “
Isaiah 35:5-6a — He would perform miraculous healings.
Fulfilled by Jesus: “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every kind of sickness and disease” (Matthew 9:35).
Psalm 78:2 — He would teach using parables.
Fulfilled by Jesus: “Jesus spoke all these things to the crowds in parables; He did not say anything to them without using a parable. So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet: I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world” (Matthew 13:34-35).
Zechariah 9:9 — He would enter Jerusalem riding on the foal of a donkey.
Fulfilled by Jesus: “… He sent two of His disciples, saying to them, ‘Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, “Why are you untying it?” tell him, “The Lord needs it” ‘ ” (Luke 19:29-31).
Prophecy connections concerning the Messiah’s death, burial and resurrection:
Zechariah 11:12-13 — He would be betrayed for thirty pieces of silver that would be thrown into the house of the Lord.
Fulfilled by Jesus: “Then one of the Twelve — one called Judas Iscariot — went to the chief priests and asked, ‘What are you willing to give me if I hand Him over to you?’ So they counted out thirty silver coins. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand Him over” (Matthew 26:14-16). . . . “When Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse … threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself” (Matthew 27:3-5).
Isaiah 53:7 — He would not defend Himself before His accusers.
Fulfilled by Jesus: “When He was accused by the chief priests and the elders, He gave no answer. Then Pilate asked Him, ‘Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?’ But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge — to the great amazement of the governor” (Matthew 27:12-14).
Zechariah 12:10 and Psalm 34:20 — His side would be pierced, but no bones would be broken.
Fulfilled by Jesus: “But when they came to Jesus and found that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear bringing a sudden flow of blood and water [evidence of a broken heart]” (John 19:33-34).
Isaiah 53:9 — He would be buried in a rich man’s tomb.
Fulfilled by Jesus: “As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph … asked for Jesus’ body and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb …” (Matthew 27:57-60).
Psalm 16:10 — He would not be held captive by death.
Fulfilled by Jesus: ” ‘Brothers, I [Peter] can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here today. But he was a prophet who knew that God had promised him on oath that He would place one of his descendants on His throne. Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of Christ, that He was not abandoned to the grave, nor did His body see decay. God has raised Jesus to life, and we al all witnesses to that fact” (Acts 2:29-32).
Science Speaks: Peter Stoner, author of the book Science Speaks has determined that the probability of one man fulfilling eight of the Messianic prophecies recorded in the Old Testament would be 1 in 10 to the 17th power. In other words, the chances of that happening would be like a blindfolded person picking up a specifically marked coin on his first try, in an area the size of Texas, covered two feet deep with silver dollars! Peter Stoner claims the odds of any one person fulfilling 48 of the prophecies by chance would be 1 in 10 to the 157th power…. Jesus fulfilled every Messianic prophecy!
What will be the odds of ONE MAN fulfilling all of the prophecies in scripture concerning “the ruler who will come,” foretold in Daniel 9:27, and called “the beast” in Revelation 13?