By Dianne E. Butts –
Most people know that the birth of Christ fulfilled many prophecies. But have you read the Christmas story with that in mind? Here’s a look at the story of the birth of Jesus in Matthew and Luke and some of the prophecies that were fulfilled along with their original prophecy that was given. You may be able to find even more.
Matthew 1:1-17, Luke 1:27, 32-33: According to Isaiah 9:6-7 and 11:1, the Messiah would be a descendant of King David. This is why genealogies are so important to the Jews and why there are so many recorded in the Bible; they are tracing the bloodline from Abraham to David to Messiah. Also Matthew 1:20 calls Joseph the “son of David” showing even Jesus’ adopted (earthly) Dad was of the line of Abraham and David. That’s why Joseph took Mary to Bethlehem: because he was in the bloodline of David so he had to go to the “City of David” to register for the census.
Matthew 1:18-25 and Luke 1:26-38: Speak of the virgin birth, as well as His name would be “God with us” was foretold in Isaiah 7:14.
Matthew 2:1-2a: That God would send a righteous King was foretold in Jeremiah 23:5.
Matthew 2: 2b: The Magi saw the star. The star was foretold in Numbers 24:17. Not only was the star predicted, but Scripture said it would come out of Jacob-Israel, both names are the same man, the grandson of Abraham.
Matthew 2:6 and Luke 2:1-7: The ruler who would be the shepherd of God’s people was to be born in Bethlehem according to Micah 5:2.
Matthew 2:11: The Magi worshipped Him, according to Isaiah 60:3.
Matthew 2: 11: The gifts given to Jesus were prophetic in themselves: gold is a gift fitting for a king, frankincense was used in sacrifices and Jesus came to be our sin sacrifice, and myrrh was used as an embalming agent in burials predicting this babe was born to die. The richness of these extravagant gifts may have financed and supported Jesus and His family while they hid out in Egypt and later traveled to Nazareth.
Matthew 2:13-15: The family fled to Egypt, then God called Him out of Egypt as Hosea 11:1 foretold. (just as the Jewish nation was called out of Egypt as a prophetic forerunner of God’s Messiah).
Matthew 2:16-18: The murder of these children was foretold in Jeremiah 31:15.
About four hundred years elapsed between the Old Testament and the New, so all of these prophecies were given at least that long before they were fulfilled in the birth of Jesus the Christ.
But not all the prophecies had centuries between the prediction and the fulfillment.
Luke 2:8-14: Angels came to the shepherds and announced the birth of “Christ the Lord” and told them a sign to them would be that the baby would be wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger (v. 12). But the shepherds had to go that night to see if it was true! And they did. According to verses 18-20 they went, and they found everything was “just as they had been told” (v. 20).
What other prophecies can you find fulfilled in the birth of Christ?