Proclamations in clear and definite terms! God’s plans to come to Earth to save man from his sin and its effects are clearly pronounced in the following chronology about Jesus birth. You should enjoy the weaving of the different accounts together in their order and sequence and see clearly God’s plan.
Isaiah 7.14, Immanuel means God is with us. The ‘what’ and ‘how’ of God’s intention.
- The prophet Isaiah was sent to King Ahaz, grandson of Uzziah, king of Judah, to assure him of God’s deliverance of Judah from the attacks of Syria and Remaliah.
- God demands that Ahaz ask for a sign that this will be so, but he declines.
- So, God gives him His sign: verse 14: ‘the virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel’. (ESV) Immanuel means God is with us!
- ‘Virgin’ also means young woman, as is necessary to understand verse 16: ‘before the boy knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you dread will be deserted.’ This prophesy was for Isaiah, because his wife became pregnant with a son, Isaiah 8.3, and God reminded Isaiah of the earlier pronouncement to Ahaz in verse 4.
- God’s prophesy to Ahaz was not about Isaiah’s son but about the future birth of Jesus.
Isaiah 9.6-7, Royal titles of Immanuel; eternal rule. The ‘Who’ of God’s intention.
- Notice the titles to be given to Immanuel/Jesus in verse 6: Wonderful Counselor! Mighty God! Everlasting Father! Prince of Peace!
- Notice, too, that Immanuel’s rule would be forever on David’s throne over Israel. Immanuel determines what is just and righteous forever!
- God’s zeal would make this so! Zeal means ‘great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause’. You will see from the angel Gabriel’s comment to Joseph, in Matthew 1.21 below, that reconciling you and all people to God was/is the cause which God pursues with great energy! Have you experienced His zeal?
Luke 1.26-38, Gabriel to Mary.
- Chosen by God, according to His criteria, not man’s; His ‘favor’!
- The baby would be a ‘son’ because every human has a progenitor; in this case, THE Progenitor of both the first ‘Adam’ and the Second! ‘He will be Son of God!’ (verse 37)
- Name the baby ‘Jesus’. Connecting to Isaiah 7.14, Jesus is Immanuel! ‘Jesus’ is the name by which we know God, as Jesus said in John 17.12.
- He is God of Heaven and Earth! God welcomed His Son as God to Heaven, as David wrote in Psalm 110.1. And, Jesus was of the kingly line of King David, through his descendant Mary. Jesus is Immanuel!
- Why did Gabriel mention Elizabeth’s pregnancy in verse 36? To establish that Mary’s pregnancy, too, is possible with God!
Matthew 1.21-23, Gabriel to Joseph.
- Name the baby ‘Jesus’!
- ‘He will save His people from their sins.’ Salvation is new revelation; Immanuel’s mission! Reconcile man back to God!
- Jesus is Immanuel!
Luke 1.39-56, Mary travels to Elizabeth.
- Why? To confirm Gabriel’s word that she was pregnant.
- By this, Mary confirms that her pregnancy is possible with God.
- Elizabeth confirms this in her welcome of Mary; verses 42-45, especially 45.
- Thus, Mary delivers her Magnificat or Song of Praise, acknowledging God’s power in the past and present and future.
Luke 2.1-21, Birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.
- Notice that God used Caesar to get Mary to Bethlehem to fulfill the prophesy of Micah (5.2).
- Shepherds are told by angels that Jesus has been born and is the Messiah! (Verses 9-14) They were considered as a lower class of people…untrustworthy. But, God chose them to be the first see and worship Jesus! Israel was God’s ‘sheep’; He their Shepherd (Psalm 23).
- They left their flocks to go and see Jesus the Messiah, to confirm what they had heard! They, then, told others about Messiah’s birth and the pronouncement by the angels. (Verses 16-20)
- Mary was astonished by the angelic message heard by the Jewish shepherds (verses 10-11). ‘Savior’ (said to Joseph); ‘Messiah’ – Gabriel had not said this to her! He had said Jesus would be Immanuel, God with His people. So, she was astonished, not knowing the full magnitude of what she had been told by Gabriel or Joseph.
Matthew 2.1-11, Magi complete their journey to worship the newborn Jewish King.
- Was this worship prophetic of Gentiles coming to Jesus?
- In verses 2 and 4, Herod connects newborn King to Messiah. Micah 5.2 prophesied about the birth city of Messiah. Herod knew the prophesies, apparently. The Magi had piqued his interest because he did not want to give up his position to Messiah, just as the Pharisees did not.
- What was the meaning of Magi gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh? These gifts were suitable for a king. Frankincense, when burned as incense, became a symbol of the Divine name, as Malachi 1.11 reveals. (Eaton’s Bible Dictionary) Myrrh was used to make the holy anointing oil (Exodus 30.23) and for embalming (John 19.39). When mixed with wine, it produced insensibility (Mark 15.23). Notice how these symbolize Jesus’ divinity and mission of providing a sin sacrifice of His body and blood. Do you see God’s hand in this selection?
Luke 2.22-39, Mary came to Jerusalem Temple.
- She came to present Jesus, according to the Law (Exodus 13.2, 12; Leviticus 12.3) and to present offering for her cleansing from childbirth (Leviticus 12.4-8). This occurred eight days after Jesus’ birth and within her first 33 days after giving birth.
- There, Mary and Joseph encountered Simeon confirmed Jesus as Messiah and gave a prophesy about His convicting of Jewish sin of not recognizing Jesus (Immanuel) as fulfillment of Moses’ Law and about Jesus bringing joy to Gentiles (Magi were first; Luke 2.25-35). M & J ‘marveled’ at Simeon’s repeating of OT prophesies and his personal words to Mary.
- Widow Anna overheard Simeon and proclaimed Jesus as Messiah to others in Temple; Luke 2.38.
Matthew 2.12-23, Magi listened to angel’s instructions not to return to King Herod.
- He kills boys 2 years old and younger for satan. (Revelation 12.1-6)
- Joseph listened to an angel and took Mary and Jesus into Egypt until Herod died. Joseph did not return to Bethlehem or Jerusalem, Judea because of Herod’s son, but relocated Mary and Jesus to Nazareth, Galilee. While Bethlehem is nearby to Jerusalem, Nazareth is far to the north and near the Sea of Galilee.
- There is no conflict between Luke’s account that has Jesus being circumcised on the eighth day and Matthew’s account of Joseph taking Mary and Jesus to Egypt. They are simply sequential and, perhaps, two years apart. It is unknown why Joseph would have stayed in Bethlehem, except that Jesus continued to be celebrated by the people. Of course, God kept him there to fulfill Micah’s prophesy and to guide the Magi.
All of this confirmed Scripture that was foretold by God to prophets earlier and through events controlled by God! Consider that the various enunciations about Jesus came through…
- Isaiah, the prophet
- Gabriel, the angel
- Elizabeth, Mary’s cousin
- Mary, Jesus’ mother
- Caesar Augustus to fulfill Micah’s prophesy about Bethlehem
- Angels to shepherds
- Shepherds to Mary and Joseph and everyone that would listen in Bethlehem; first Jewish worshippers
- Magi, first Gentile worshippers
- Simeon, the old man who had believed God’s promise that he would hold and see Messiah
- Anna, the centenarian guided into the Temple at just the right time.
So, what are you enunciating to others about Jesus?
Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2014. www.sozoclass.com