A Nativity Study: Prophecies Fulfilled at Jesus’ Birth


Teacher Notes: There are two handouts for Group 1 Birth Prophecies and Group 2 Life Ministry Prophecies. Divide the class into two groups and follow the instructions.

The three O.T. and N.T. with fulfillment have the answers in italics so you may want to copy the students copy without those notes so they might fill in their own notes.

There is an excellent supplemental handout about the Diety and Humanity of Jesus from:

THE FULL DEITY OF JESUS CHRIST (Adapted from: http://www.baptiststart.com)

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Some critical questions as we begin and then we’ll look for answers throughout this study:

  1. Who exactly came 2000 years ago?
  2. Why did He come?
  3. Was all this really prophesied before it happened?
  4. What exactly is the Incarnation of the Word?

We will look at the prophecies of the Nativity of Jesus by starting with the N.T. accounts and looking backwards to their first declarations in the O.T. The coming of Jesus into this world, to a small town and into an insignificant country on the outskirts of the Roman Empire is a fact of history. God became flesh and dwelt among us. Predicted from ages past this fulfillment was full of both wonder and import.

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.

There are at least two striking affirmations here that are critical to our study today. (An important note:  God said, “let us make man in our image” which speaks to more than one personality or entity in the Genesis communication allowing an early place for both the Son and the Holy Spirit along with the Father.) First of all, we are created in God’s image (1 Cor 11:7), but have been separated from all that we should and could be by our sin. Our human nature can only be understood in reference to our origin in God, not merely as some random evolutionary product. Secondly, we are to have dominion over nature, but have been cast out of the garden and subject to physical death and to toil for our bread. The second Adam, who did not sin, is redeeming all to Himself and ultimately that likeness and dominion will be fully restored to mankind. It started at Jesus’ birth and is beginning now and will finally be completed with a visible reality.

The people of Israel/Judea were expecting and hoping for a Messiah to appear as a King and emancipator from Roman domination. However, His coming was far more and seemingly far less than their limited hopes. God’s intent from the incarnation was to ultimately satisfy this hope, but first the appearance would look like a paradox and even opposite. The Son would come in awesome humility and as a servant. The road to kingship first had to go through Bethlehem, Egypt, Nazareth and the ultimate humility and shame of crucifixion.

Matthew traces Jesus’ genealogy from Abraham through David and to Joseph. Luke does the same thing through Mary.

Micah 5:2 (fulfilled Matt 2:1,6-8) – A declaration and promise to a minor town─really to the people─in a specific location that a ruler would come from among them who has mysterious ancient origins. The result and confirming prophecy are given in Matthew chapter 2

Jeremiah 23:5,6 (fulfilled Luke 1:31-33) – In contrast to the corrupting and counterproductive shepherds of Jeremiah’s day, God would raise a good shepherd from the family of David to ultimately rule over both Judah and Israel. In Luke, this same promise is given to Mary of what her son would become.

Hosea 11:1/Exodus 4:22,23 (fulfilled Matt 2:13,14) –God called both Israel as His first-born nation and His only begotten son Jesus out of Egypt through Moses and then to Joseph.

Matthew insisted that his readers discover Jesus as the expected and prophesied king.

We are going to break up into two groups. You will be first century rabbinical scholars looking at the facts about both Jesus’ birth and his life and what was prophesied.

Group #1 will be looking only at the records regarding the birth.

Group #2 will be looking at only the records regarding his later ministry.

You will be comparing either the birth or ministry events to select verses (for time constraints) from the Old Testament and come to some judgments and conclusions.

Quickly pick a leader who will also be your spokesperson, then pick a skeptic and also a true believer.

Stay with the verses on the sheets and involve everyone in the discussion.

5 minutes to read instructions and choose leader/spokesperson, skeptic and believer

5 minutes to read to yourselves the N.T. and O.T. verses

10 minutes to discuss and make judgments led by your leader/spokesperson

We will then come back together as a bigger group and talk about Incarnation and some closing remarks.

Group #1 – Comparing Prophecy with Records of Jesus’ Birth

Your Mission:Compare the birth events to select verses from the Old Testament and come to your own judgments and conclusions.

Stay with the verses on the sheets and involve everyone in the discussion.

5 minutes to choose Leader/Spokesperson, Skeptic and Believer

  • Leader/Spokesperson:
  • Skeptic:
  • Believer:

Psalms 132:11 The LORD swore an oath to David, a sure oath that he will not revoke: “One of your own descendants I will place on your throne—

Jeremiah 23:5  “The days are coming,” declares the LORD,
“when I will raise up for David[a] a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.
6 In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety.
This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteous Savior.

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

Micah 5:2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”

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

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Matthew 1:1,2 A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham:  2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,

Matt 2:1,2 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

Matthew 1:18 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.

Luke 2:4-6 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,

Matthew 2:19,20 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt  20 and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”

5 minutes to read to yourselves the N.T. and O.T. verses from the NIV Old & New Testaments

10 minutes to discuss and make judgments led by your Leader/Spokesperson

We will then come back together as a big group and discuss and have some closing remarks by your teacher.

______________________________________

Group #2 – Comparing Prophecy with Records of Jesus’ Ministry

Your Mission:Compare the ministry events to select verses from the Old Testament and come to your own judgments and conclusions.

Stay with the verses on the sheets and involve everyone in the discussion.

5 minutes to choose Leader/Spokesperson, Skeptic and Believer

  • Leader/Spokesperson:
  • Skeptic:
  • Believer:

5 minutes to read to yourselves the N.T. and O.T. verses from the NIV Old & New Testaments

Malachi 3:1 “See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the LORD Almighty.

Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

Isaiah 32:3 Then the eyes of those who see will no longer be closed, and the ears of those who hear will listen.

Isaiah 35:5,6 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.

Isaiah 11:2  The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him– the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD-

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Matthew 11:10,11b This is the one about whom it is written: “‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ 11 I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist;

John 12:13,14 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the King of Israel!”  14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it,

Matthew 9:32-35 … a man who was demon-possessed and could not talk was brought to Jesus.  33 And when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute spoke. The crowd was amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” … 35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.

 Matthew 3:16,17 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.  17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

10 minutes to discuss and make judgments led by your Leader/Spokesperson

We will then come back together as a big group and discuss and have some closing remarks by your teacher.

The Incarnation

For Christians who believe the Bible is God’s inspired word, the Incarnation is the belief that Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity, God’s Son and the Word or Logos, became flesh by conception in the Virgin Mary.

The Incarnation means that Jesus, as the noncreated second hypostasis or hypostatic union (two natures in one person) of the triune God, took upon himself both a human body and nature and at that moment became both God and man. John 1:14 says: “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us.”

In Jesus, the divine nature and human nature were joined but not mixed so He was and still is “truly God and truly man”.

This is central to the traditional faith held by most Christians. Alternative views on the subject have been proposed throughout the centuries, but all were rejected by mainstream churches.

After the time of the apostles some alternate views were expressed and argued for, but eventually, the Christian Church accepted the teaching of St. Athanasius and his allies, that Christ was the incarnation of the eternal second person of the Trinity who was truly God and truly a man simultaneously. All differing beliefs were defined as heresies. Such as:

Docetism: Jesus was a divine being that took on human appearance but not flesh. Jesus’ physical body was an illusion, as was his crucifixion; that is, Jesus only seemed to have a physical body and to physically die, but in reality he was incorporeal, a pure spirit, and hence could not physically die.

Arianism: Christ was a created being. The Arian concept of Christ is that the Son of God did not always exist, but was created by—and is therefore distinct from—God the Father.

Nestorianism: The Son of God and the man, Jesus, shared the same body but retained two separate natures. Jesus Christ, who is not identical with the Son but personally united with the Son, who lives in Him.

The most widely-accepted definitions of the Incarnation and the nature of Jesus were made by the First Council of Nicea 325, the Council of Ephesus 431, and the Council of Chalcedon in 451. These councils declared that Jesus was both fully God: begotten from, but not created by the Father; and fully man: taking his flesh and human nature from the Virgin Mary. These two natures, human and divine, were hypostatically joined into the one personhood of Jesus Christ.

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Here is another study for this sacred season:

Mary, The Mother of Jesus – The First Disciple (Teacher Guide)

http://wp.me/py5dX-5O

About castleqwayr

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2 Responses to A Nativity Study: Prophecies Fulfilled at Jesus’ Birth

  1. Pingback: O, Lord, Help This Humble Blog Writer 020712 « Mennonite Preacher

  2. Pingback: Resources for Matthew 9:32 - 35

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