Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Jesus Christ P19 (11-16-20)
As we resume our study in A Closer Look at Jesus Christ, in Chapter 6: Biblical Prophecies about Jesus Christ, we look at various prophecies of the Old Testament prophets, who lived over 700 years before the birth of Christ, and whose prophetic words were written down for us. These men could not have had such knowledge on their own, but the Holy Spirit of God revealed to them future events in history that would be fulfilled in Jesus Christ. They were told to record these things down for future generations to observe and then later be read through those who were eyewitnesses of these things, who wrote down the actual fulfillment of the event.
The eyewitnesses, the New Testament disciples and apostles, who ate and drank and walked on the earth with Jesus, heard the very spoken words of Jesus and observed all that He did and said in fulfillment of those prophetic writings of the Old Testament prophets. They wrote down what they saw and heard. All this was done so that the person of Jesus Christ might be revealed to mankind as to who He is, and by knowing who He is, receive what He came to offer mankind, eternal life, the very Spirit of God in Christ, to dwell in mankind.
The words that Jesus said concerning Himself are confirmed through the writings of the prophets, that He must be who He claimed to be, that He is the Light of the world and the way, the truth and the life. For over 300 prophecies to be fulfilled, in precise detail as recorded by the prophets, would be mathematically improbable. Jesus Christ must be God in the flesh, the Immanuel, God with us, as we have heard every Christmas season in our songs.
We looked at the prophecies from the prophet Micah as to the place of Jesus birth, in Bethlehem in Judea, and fulfilled in Christ Jesus as recorded for us by Matthew, a disciple of Jesus. The other disciples of Jesus also wrote down similar things fulfilled in Christ as spoken through the prophets. We looked at several prophecies from the prophet Isaiah, as His miraculous birth from a virgin, and about a voice of a man calling out in the wilderness, which was fulfilled in the person of John the Baptist, who prepared the way of the Lord by crying out in the wilderness, to make way for the Lord, to repent of your way of thinking and listen to the words of the Messiah who is here. That happened just as the prophet foretold, and Matthew recorded.
Then the prophet Isaiah prophesies about Jesus ministry beginning in the land of Zebulun and Naphtali, a place of the Gentiles, so they too may see the great Light. What a prophetic message, that no scribe would have understood what or why they were writing this down. How could the Gentile be saved the same way as the Jew? But that was revealed to the prophets and to the apostles, and ultimately to the apostle Paul, who proclaimed this mystery of Christ in you, your only hope of glory. That out of two groups, Jew and Gentile, Christ formed one new body, His life to be placed in them by faith, and together they can call God their Father.
And then you have a prophecy that makes no sense to a world we live in where kings sit in palaces and have crowns on their head and honored among men. The prophet Zechariah prophesied concerning how Jesus was to come in great humility, riding on a donkey. You have the prophecy of a suffering servant and then of a reigning king. The prophecy is concerning the same person. But who could understand the meaning. The Jews were looking for a military leader who conquered the Romans, thinking only in terms of the natural world. So many, including Judas Iscariot, missed what Jesus came to do.
Jesus came to bring spiritual life to mankind. Yes, Jesus performed miracles, as prophesied that He would do through the prophet Isaiah, but that was to authenticate who He is and to know what He came to do for us, who are so slow to believe, that maybe on the evidence of the miracles themselves, we might be willing to believe. But we get too enamored with physical miracles, we lose sight of what really matters, the spiritual life without end, knowing Jesus Christ in us, that when we die we would be welcomed in heavenly places by virtue of faith placed in the finished work of Christ alone for us by means of His death, burial and resurrection. If you are not in Christ, would you be willing to put your faith in Him so you may have life in His name?
So, when you look at the last days events about to come on the horizon, those cataclysmic events recorded in Revelation, and what Timothy and others have written, are you caught off guard? What if America is not rescued as we would like, but is taken over by wicked men? Would you lose hope and faith in the Messiah? Would your mind drift to what you expect the Messiah to do today in our world and miss what He really wants to do in you and through you? He tells us to look up when you see these terrible events begin to unfold in our day, in these last days, for our redemption draws near. He tells us to be of good courage for He has overcome the world. He tells us to not be alarmed when you see these things about to happen. So do not get unsettled when things do not work out according to what your natural mind would like to see happen. Let your roots go deeper in Christ and stand firm.
It is a very fascinating study, isn’t it, when we begin dealing with the area of biblical prophecy? As we talked about last week, as we began this chapter, the circumstances involving the predictions of Christ Jesus in the Old Testament, all of them coming true, well over 300 prophecies concerning this one person Jesus Christ, all of them being fulfilled, is really a mathematical improbability. There would be so many zeros attached onto that probability that would be more than from here to New York and back. We have to realize that when Jesus Christ came to this earth, it was not an event that suddenly burst upon this unsuspecting world, as if it was something that was a shock to God. All of this was a part of a long line of prophetic statements that started with the voice of God predicting His coming at the very beginning of human history, which we discussed in Genesis 3, and what He was there for.
1 Peter 1:20
20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.
All of this was planned before the creation of the world, and what God was doing.
2 Corinthians 5:19
God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting people’s sins against them.
So that was the work of the cross. Then the work of the resurrection was when he came to restore in man what we had lost in Adam, and that is the Son of God living in us. All of these things are so vitally important for us to understand, that God has a plan. He is right on time, every time. That all of the things that happened in world history is not just happenstance. History is not going helter skelter to nowhere. It is headed toward an event at the end of time, a catastrophic event that will take place in the tribulation period. Then the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
(Refer to Revelation for all these end time cataclysmic events.)
16Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. 13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. 14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. 15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and we will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.
I think, sometimes, we fail to maybe amplify enough about the second coming of Christ. There are people who are prophecy buffs and that is all they talk about. Then there are people who are salvation buffs, and all they talk about is how they were saved 20 years ago. Then when Jesus is coming back, they act as if, in between those two events, nothing is going on. I understand the peril of the pendulum there.
7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
As a matter of fact, Christ is coming back. We need to understand that is a future event in history, that each and every one of us should be looking forward to every single day. As far as I know, of my knowledge of prophecy, I do not think there are any events that are necessary to take place, prior to that event. As far as I can tell, with the limited study that I have done on biblical prophecy, all events concerning the second coming of Christ have already taken place or are currently taking place. There is nothing left except for Him to come again.
1 Thessalonians 4:15-18
15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
Ever single day, and that is exciting to me, because I do know we are in the age of the Gentiles. Any time a person accepts the Lord on the air, I have to ask, “Is this the last one?”. When that last one comes in, we are going out. So it is an exciting deal. It is almost like John the Baptist’s ministry. If you recall, John the Baptist said, “the one who told me to baptize told me that the one on whom the Spirit descends is the Messiah.”
31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”
32 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’
The reason for his baptizing was to identify the Messiah to Israel. You can imagine the excitement of his ministry, that every time someone was baptized, he asked, “Is this the one?” Also, that explains how he said to the Pharisees, “What are you people doing out here? You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?”
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?
“You are white-washed sepulchres. You are not the Messiah.” That excitement should be in the heart of every Christian. Any time someone comes to the Lord, that may be the last one coming in prior to the coming of Christ, the rapture of the saints.
It is an exciting thing to realize that we not only had the prophecy that was proclaiming the coming of the Messiah, but we have the Messiah, Jesus who came, and now we are waiting on His second coming. Not only are we able to enjoy His being here, living in us, the body of Christ, the mystery form. But there is coming a day that He will return in His own physical body and rule for a thousand year reign. What a glorious opportunity that is going to be, to enjoy this earth for the first time, without trials and tribulations that go along with it.
1 And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. 2 He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. 3 He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.
4 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.
So we talked about an event in Genesis in regard to the fact that he will put enmity between you and the woman, talking to Satan.
14 So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,
“Cursed are you above all livestock
and all wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.”
The plan of God in the creation of man was that man was created by God and by his foreknowledge, with knowledge man was going to fall, and therefore, he saw a need for his provision. The option to that, of creating man, was to make man a robot. As long as God did not want to create a human being as a robot, he had to give man a free will and choice. And so with that choice was the gamble that he may choose to rebel against his Creator. Or he could choose to walk in dependency on his Creator. That was a gamble. But if the option was to make man without a will, then, of course, you just have a robot on your hands. With foreknowledge of that, He knew man was going to fall. God also knew He was going to provide a provision for that in Jesus Christ. All of that was part of prophetic scripture.
We talked about the prophesying of His birth place, in Bethlehem. In the prophecy of Isaiah, we learned of His miraculous, virgin birth. Through the prophet Hosea we learned about His childhood in Egypt. That was fulfilled prophecy.
Today, we will pick up some other prophecies concerning John the Baptist’s ministry in Galilee, and the ministry of miracles, and other things prophesied in the Old Testament that came true in the New Testament.
It is important for us to understand, folks, that as we are going through these scriptures that we are going to be reading from the Old Testament prophecies and then seeing the fulfillment of them in the person of Jesus Christ. These were not fulfilled in the scriptures. They were fulfilled by Jesus and written down in the scriptures for our benefit. It is the person of Jesus Christ who fulfilled the prophetic utterances that were laid down in scriptures in the Old Testament but they were fulfilled in Christ Jesus. Then, very fortunately for us, recorded in the New Testament scriptures as to their fulfillment. Of course, attributing that fulfillment to the person of Jesus Christ. Then going back to the Old Testament showing the prophecy and again explaining the fulfillment in His person. It is an exciting study together!
Picking up on our study guide, A Closer Look at Jesus Christ, in Chapter 6: Biblical Prophecies about Jesus Christ, we will look at prophecies concerning John the Baptist. Once again, the prophet Isaiah, written 700 years before Christ said this.
3 The voice of one calling out, “Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness; Make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
There is a prophecy that a voice is going to be calling. The nature of the message is to clear the way of the Lord in the wilderness and to make straight in the desert a highway for our God. That was fulfilled in the person of John the Baptist and recorded by the disciple Matthew.
2 Peter 1:21
21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
All scripture was given by inspiration of God, so there is no writer who wrote in and of himself. It was all inspired by the Holy Spirit of God. So under the influence of the Holy Spirit of God, the apostle Matthew wrote in those days about the coming of John the Baptist.
1 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” 3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:
“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’”[Isaiah 40:3]
So you see the prophecy and you see the fulfillment in John the Baptist, who was the voice in the wilderness that was calling out, “repent and prepare the way for the Lord, and make straight paths for him” fulfilled in the person of John the Baptist.
Now what is also talked about from the prophet Isaiah, 700 years before the fact. This is amazing when you think of 700 years. Think how much older that is than the United States. 700 years is a long time before the act, from the writing of something down and then to see it fulfilled precisely in the prophecies that involve our Lord Jesus Christ.
Now when the Messiah comes, then it is written that His ministry will commence in the Galilee area. It talks about who is going to proclaim Him, how born of a virgin, where He is going to be born, but also where His ministry is going to begin. Let us look at that prophecy in Isaiah 9:1-2.
1 Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan –
2 The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.
In early times, He treated the land of Zebulun and Naphtali with contempt. But later on He shall make it glorious. Well, I look at this, and we have been studying through the book of Romans in a Sunday Metro bible group. I see so much scripture that I think we missed one interpretation on the emphasis that the gospel not only went to the Jew but went to the Gentile. That was a mystery, something not known. It was revealed.
27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
2 Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. 4 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. 6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.
It was a mystery that ultimately came to Paul. The mystery is Christ in you, your only hope of glory, just like he is in the Jew who came to faith in Christ Jesus. The mystery that He will take Jew and Gentile and make them one, no longer Jew, no longer Gentile no longer slave, no longer free, but to make them into one. That dividing line of hostility had been rent when that curtain went down. All can come into the holy of holies, calling Him, “Abba Father”.
50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.
19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water
1 Corinthians 12:12-14
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body – whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free – and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace
6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”
This is a prophecy that not only deals with Christ’s ministry is going to be but it deals with the salvation of the Gentiles. You can see just those Old Testament scribes scratching their heads, thinking, “What do these Gentiles have to do with anything?” That was a mystery. It was 18 years after Christ’ death, where Peter literally discovered that God was going to give the same Holy Spirit, salvation to the Gentile, that He did to the Jew. That is a long time. That is more time than a lot of us have been Christians. We have to realize that this was not a known truth. It was prophesied, but ignored in prophecy. People just scratched their heads saying, “How can that be, when we the Jews are God’s chosen people, and through whom the bloodline of the Messiah is going to come? How is that same salvation going to come to the Gentile?” But there is a prophecy concerning that. That is fulfilled in Matthew once again through Jesus.
12 When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. 13 Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— 14 to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:
15 “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles –
When Christ went ministering in that area, He did so in fulfillment of prophecy of Isaiah, not only that He was the Messiah but here He was going to begin His earthly ministry.
16 the people living in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.”[Isaiah 9:1-2]
That light being seen is referring to the Gentile coming into the Light.
23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them. 25 Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis,[the ten cities] Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.
Once again, in the prophecies where he was talking about, where He was going to begin His ministry, in the area of Galilee, speaking to people in darkness, which certainly referred to the Gentile but also to the Jew as well. For we are all in darkness until we turn to Him for light. He is the light of the world. There is no light outside of Him. So there, Jew or Gentile, slave or free, all of us, born into this world regardless of heritage, in spiritual darkness. The only solution to darkness is light. We were all born into the world spiritually dead and the only solution to death is life. Jesus Christ proclaimed Himself as “I am the light” and “I am the life”.
12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Prophecy also dealt with miracles He was going to be doing. Looking again at a prophecy of Isaiah.
5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
6 Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert.
The fulfillment of that was recorded by the disciple Luke.
18 John’s disciples told him about all these things. Calling two of them, 19 he sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”
20 When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’”
21 At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. 22 So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: 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.
So, Jesus again, quoting what was stated in Isaiah. That was a prophecy that was fulfilled. Now folks, it might be interesting to pause here just for a moment in regard to this person of John the Baptist. It is interesting what Jesus said about John the Baptist.
11 Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
There was no man ever born that was like John the Baptist. There was no one like him. Yet it is also interesting that there is no recorded miracle that John the Baptist ever performed. The only thing John the Baptist came to do was to be a voice in the wilderness to proclaim the Lord Jesus Christ. He never performed a miracle. He never had a pulpit. He never had a church. He never had good clothes. And his diet I would not be envious of either. But he was there to proclaim Jesus Christ, to be a mouthpiece. Jesus identified him as one that no one has ever come close to.
While John the Baptist heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask Jesus a question.
2 When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”
4 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see
He said in scripture concerning John that he was not like a reed to be bent back and forth.
23 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”
24 After John’s messengers left, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? 25 If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear expensive clothes and indulge in luxury are in palaces.
John the Baptist was strong as horseradish. That question confuses us. Why did he ask if he was the one or if we should expect someone else? The interesting thing about that is a student in the Old Testament scripture of prophecy will soon come to the realization that there are two events regarding the Messiah. One event is He the suffering Messiah and the other is that He is the reigning Messiah.
If the majority of the time, you are trying to get Israel restored, to bring back national prominence in your country, so which Messiah would they be looking for? The reigning one. “That suffering one, we can do without him. What about the reigning one? I want the political stuff.” People are not proclaiming Christ for spiritual reasons. We do so in order to save America. It is the same type of mindset. It is the same mindset that caused Judas to betray Jesus. He had a different agenda than Jesus. Jesus came down for spiritual things. Judas came for physical things. He had a different agenda. He was there for business, not for spirituality. We have to understand that, that people will follow Jesus for different reasons but God knows those reasons. The people were looking for the reigning Messiah and forgetting the suffering Messiah. Jesus came as a suffering Messiah. He had not come to reign yet.
It is like looking at two mountain peaks. When you look from a distance, they look like they are side by side. When you get up close, they look like they might be 100 miles from each other. So, looking for and identifying Jesus as the suffering Messiah, what he was saying is, this one coming to reign, is that someone different? Are there two of you, or is there just one of you? That is the question he was asking here. It was no doubt He is God or the Messiah, but is there another that is going to be reigning?
A part of prophecy was to identify the Messiah, and again, the fulfillment of all those prophecies all in one man. As I said earlier, the mathematical probability is almost beyond computers to comprehend. The fact is that Jesus fulfilled every one of these prophecies.
And, so we see that a part of the prophetic ministry, of course, is that the Messiah was going to perform miracles, heal the blind, make the lame to walk, and again, in each one of those cases it was not just to perform some kind of physical miracle, because in the final analysis, all those people are going to die any way. I may be born blind and receive sight but I am going to die some day. I may have been born lame and be healed in order to walk, but I am going to die some day. You might have leprosy and be cured of that disease but you will die eventually of something else. So why these healings? It was there to verify and solidify the fact that this is the Messiah. So, knowing man, God knows man’s heart. He knows, many times, just like doubting Thomas, you have to see a miracle, of putting your finger in His hands and your fist in His side, then you will believe. Or to see some physical miracle that then enables you to believe in spiritual truth. The problem with that is that we get so excited about the physical miracle and forget the spiritual truth and we never get around to it. Then we want another miracle and then another. To that Jesus said to the Jews.
38 Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.”
39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
“You are an adulterous generation, always wanting signs and miracles. You want a miracle. Look at my burial and resurrection.” It is so easy for us to get hung up on things and get out of focus on things. The reason for the physical was to substantiate the spiritual and that is always the case.
Well, with John the Baptist, he was looking for two different Messiahs or one Messiah, but he did not know whether they were two people or whether there is going to be another one who is going to reign. What he spotted there was the suffering Messiah, the humble Messiah. That was also prophesied by the prophet Zecharaih around 500 B.C.
Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
So, you say, “Oh, boy, a king.” You can envision Him coming on gold carries, with a crown on His head. But the prophet did not say that.
righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
“Wait a minute. Kings do not come on donkeys. They come on white horses.” This is a prophesy of the Messiah. First, He will be born in Bethlehem, an insignificant place, born of a virgin, in a manger, and will spend time in exile in Egypt, and now he is going to be a king mounted on a donkey. Can you imagine the scribes scratching their head on that. Was that fulfilled? Yes, with Jesus. Matthew records that.
2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”
4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
5 “Say to Daughter Zion,
‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”[Zecharaiah 9:9]
6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on.
Again, the prophesies fulfilled. Now, how in the world did Zechariah know, 500 years before an event, that the Messiah was going to come and ride on a donkey? Well, the answer to that is that has to be from God, who knows the beginning from the end, who is the Alpha and the Omega. That is who the prophets were, those who were given prophetic utterance, not just spoken but written down and substantiated in the fulfillment of the person of Jesus Christ.
9 Remember the former things, those of long ago;
I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me.
10 I make known the end from the beginning,
from ancient times, what is still to come.
I say, ‘My purpose will stand,
and I will do all that I please.’
11 From the east I summon a bird of prey;
from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose.
What I have said, that I will bring about;
what I have planned, that I will do.
6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.
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