Chapter Three

Prophecies Of His Life And Ministry

We will be looking at Old Testament prophecies of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ in this chapter, but first the definition of the Greek word Christ will be given here, so the reader can see and understand Old Testament Prophecies through the eyes of the Jews who lived during the time Jesus lived on earth. Christ is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word Messiah. The Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew, and later translated into Greek. Greek was a common language during the life and ministry of Jesus, and the New Testament was written in Greek. Messiah and Christ both mean "Anointed One." Jesus Christ = Jesus the Messiah = Jesus the Anointed One. We get the interpretation that Messiah means Christ from John 1:41 and John 4:25.

John 1:41 "He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias (Messiah), being interpreted, the Christ."

John 4:25 "The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias (Messiah) cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things."

Prophecies in the Old Testament were always about a future Messiah, Christ, or Anointed One, who would come in the future. The Spirit of Christ would also mean Spirit of Messiah or Spirit of Anointed One. The Old Testament was written through the Jews or Jewish writers, who were God’s Chosen People in Old Testament times. The Jews were always looking forward to a Jewish Messiah, Christ, or Anointed One, who would come to rule over them, and be their Anointed King, whose kingdom will last for ever. Jesus fulfilled many of these Old Testament Prophecies when he came the first time, but there are many of them which will be fulfilled when he comes back the second time, and set up his eternal kingdom. We will learn more about this in later chapters as we go through some of these prophecies. We will also see Old Testament prophecies which prophesy that he will be a light to the Gentiles later in this chapter. A Gentile was anyone who wasn’t a Jew in Biblical times, so the Bible speaks about Jews and Gentiles making distinction between Jews, and all the rest of the world who are not Jews (Gentiles). Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior to Gentiles as well as the Jews, and Old Testament prophecies reveal that truth very clear.

We read in a previous chapter that Micah 5:2 prophesies that Jesus or the future Ruler of Israel would come forth out of Bethlehem. This prophecy is quoted in Matthew 2:6 as pertaining to the birth of Jesus at Bethlehem. The whole chapter of Zechariah 14 prophesies about the coming Messiah, Christ, or Anointed One, who will rule over the whole earth, but he will rule from Jerusalem. Revelation Chapter 20 speaks about him reigning on earth for a thousand years, and John saw a new heaven and new earth after that in chapter 21 of Revelation. Revelation 19:16 refers to him as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

The fact that the Virgin Mary would conceive and bear a son was prophesied in Isaiah 7:14 "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall his name Immanuel." The word "virgin" actually means "young maiden" in the Hebrew translation. It means a chaste unmarried woman who most likely would be a virgin. Matthew refers to this prophecy as pertaining to the birth of Jesus in Matthew 1:21-23. "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shall call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold , a virgin shall be with child, and bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."

The name Immanuel does not necessarily suggest a proper name like Tom or Mike. It actually is like a title or ranking position like President or Governor. The scripture above (Matthew 1:23) gives the interpretation of it. "Which being interpreted is, God with us" The name Jesus which is the proper name of our Lord means "Savior". Jesus our Savior has been called "God with us" every since. The scripture below will show that Mary was a virgin. Notice the question that Mary asked the Angel in verse 34.

Luke 1:30 31, 34, 35

(30) And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. (31) And, behold, thou shall conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS..... (34) Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? (35) And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall over shadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

The next prophecy below is about Rachel weeping for her children. Matthew 2:16, 17, and 18 places the fulfillment of this prophecy at the time King Herod had all the babies in Bethlehem under two years of age put to death after Jesus was born, because Herod was told by the chief priest and scribes that the Christ (Messiah) would be born in Bethlehem in Matthew 2:6, and it is also in Matthew 2:6 where we see the reference made to Micah 5:2 that prophesies the messiah will be born or come out of Bethlehem. Herod was angry when he thought the wise men were mocking him, and he perhaps thought this new baby Jesus would be a threat to his throne, because Micah 5:2 does prophesy that the messiah would rule over Israel, and Herod was the reining king of the Jews at that time. All the babies slaughtered in Bethlehem at that time were all descendants of Rachel.

Jeremiah 31:15 "Thus saith the Lord; A voice was heard in Ramah; lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel (Rachel) weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not."

Matthew 2:16,17,18 "Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy (Jeremiah) the prophet, saying In Ramah was there a voice heard. Lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

The next prophecy in Hosea 11:1 has a two fold meaning. It refers to the nation Israel in the first place, because the Lord did deliver Israel out of Egypt in the time of Moses, but Matthew 2:15 quotes Hosea 11:1 as a prophecy of Jesus, because Joseph was warned by an angel to take Jesus and flee to Egypt, because Herod would try to kill him. They remained in Egypt until Herod died, and then moved to Nazareth where Jesus grew up as a child.

Hosea 11:1 "When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt."

Matthew 2:12-15 "And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son." See Numbers 24:8

The next three prophecies will prophesy that Jesus would have a forerunner. John the Baptist came right before Jesus started his ministry saying "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." The first sermon Jesus gave was "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." We read about the first sermon of Jesus in Matthew 4:17. John the Baptist was a forerunner of Jesus, and he prepared the way for Jesus. It was John the Baptist who said in Matthew 3:11 "I baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and fire:" This statement by John the Baptist is recorded in all four Gospels, and even Paul referred to John the Baptist saying this in Acts 13:25. John the Baptist is also the one who said in John 1:29 "Behold the Lamb of God" when he saw Jesus.

Malachi 3:1 "Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts." There are two messengers prophesied about in this prophecy. John the Baptist is the messenger who prepared the way for Jesus, and Jesus is the messenger of the covenant. Mark 1:2 and 3 quote this prophecy as pertaining to John the Baptist, and also quotes Isaiah 40:3 below.

Mark 1:2, 3 "As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight."

Isaiah 40:3 "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God." Matthew 3:1,2, 3 and Luke 3:4, 5 also quote Isaiah 40:3 as pertaining to John the Baptist, who prepared the way of the Lord Jesus.

The disciples of Jesus asked him about Malachi 4:5,6 below. I would like the reader to notice how Jesus answered his disciples in Matthew 17:10-13, which is also given below.

Malachi 4:5, 6 "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse."

Matthew 17:10-13 "And his disciples asked him, saying, why then say the scribes that Elias (Elijah) must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, that Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them? Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist." See also Matthew 11:13, 14.