- Old Testament Prophesies about the Coming of the Messiah.
- The Concept of the Messiah in the New Testment
- John the Baptist
Read 2 Samuel 7:13, Isaiah 7:10-16
Meaning: The word Messiah is from a Hebrew word meshiach, which means the anointed: thus a Messiah is one called, anointed and appointed by God to serve Him.
A prophecy refers to a prediction of what will happen in future.
Messianic Prophecies: These are those predictions that were made by the prophets to describe the coming of a righteous King who will rule Israel according to God’s will. The origin of the Messianic prophecies in the Bible starts with prophet Nathan’s prophecy to King David.
The Roman ruled the Israelites before the birth of Jesus. They hated the Roman leadership and longed for somebody of their own to lead them into victory over the Roman rule.
The prophet of Israel (the Old Testament) communicated a message that God would send a messiah to bring all people into a lasting relationship with Him. The prophets who were sent had different ideas
about the Messiah.
Their ideas about the Messiah were different from the Jewish expectations – whereby they hoped for political King to lead them into victory over the Roman rule. But the prophets were talking about a religious one – to free them from sin.
David proposed to build God a house. Nathan, the prophet was given a message (an oracle) for David. In this prophecy, God told Nathan to tell King David that:
- God would ensure that the Kingdom of David would last forever.
- An heir from David’s lineage would rule
- David’s heir shall build a house for God’s name. God would establish the throne of his Kingdom forever.
- David heir shall be God’s son and God shall be his father.
- David house and Kingdom shall be established forever.
David died. But God’s mercy shall not depart from the heir of David. Hence the promise that the Kingdom of David, shall last forever referred to the messiah who was to come. David is an ancestor of
In these readings, Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would be:
- Born of a virgin
- A boy, born of a virgin and called ‘Emmanuel’ that is ” God with us”
- A Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, The everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace.
- The Spirit of God inside him
- Anointed of God
- Sent to preach the good news to the poor, to bring liberty to the captives, proclaim the year of favour from God.
- Isaiah also prophesied that the Messiah would be the suffering servant (Isaiah 53)
Characteristics of the Suffering Servant - Isaiah 53
- He would bear the sins of human kind
- He was oppressed, afflicted, despised, rejected of men
- He bore suffering and disgrace submissively
- He was mocked and spat on and wounded
- He was innocent of sin and yet treated as a criminal.
- He was pierced and wounded in the sides
- He was crucified with thieves and made intercession for the sinners
- He was buried in a rich man’s tomb.
God promised to rise up a (branch) who shall:
- Choose as King, a righteous descendant of David
- Rule wisely, do what is right, and just in the world
- Execute justice on the earth
- Ensure that Judah and Israel are safe and live in peace.
- Be called ‘the God our righteousness” – “The Lord our salvation’
What does the term a ‘righteous branch ‘means?
Micah prophesied that:
- The Messianic King shall come from Bethlehem
- He shall lead with authority
- He will bring peace
David spoke of
- Betrayal by a close friend
- Messiah is referred to as ‘ the Lord’
- The messiah shall rule/reign in the midst of enemies.
Nathan, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Psalmist prophecy (David) and Micah prophesied of a Messiah to come. The Jews expected a Messiah who would be a political leader, a victorious ruler and a King. They expected a
- Who would lead his people into a time of great national power and prosperity;
- In whose reign, there shall be no illness, no sorrow, no injustice,
- In whose reign, there shall be no fear
- In whose reign, land shall be filled with joy and peace
- Who shall rule forever.
- Describe the prophecy of Jeremiah concerning the Messiah
- What does the term Messiah mean?
- Highlight the Jewish expectations of the Messiah in the Old Testament?
- Did Jesus Christ fulfill the O.T. prophecies concerning the Messiah? How?
- Which prophets in the Old Testament prophesied about the expected Messiah?
The concept of messiah is found in Luke 1:26 – 38; 2:1-23; 23:1 – 35; 24:50 – 51. The writer of Luke's Gospel makes it clear that Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies concerning the coming of the
Messiah. How did He do this? Well Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies because;
- Jesus was born from the lineage of David (Mathew 1)
- Angle Gabriel said the child to be born shall rule forever (Luke 1:32) Nathan’s prophecy
- Jesus was born of Mary a Virgin, as pre told by Isaiah 7:14
- Messiah is called Emmanuel, Isaiah’s prophecy. Mathew 1:18 – 25
- Jesus was born in Bethlehem – Micah’s prophecy
- The Messiah would be a ‘Son of David’ – Nathan, and Jeremiah prophesies. Jesus was referred to as a ‘Son of David’ (Luke 18:38)
- Jesus would bring salvation said by Simeon during dedication of Jesus. Luke 2:29 – 32. This was a fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy.
- Jesus referred to himself as the Messiah by reading the scroll. Isaiah 61:1 – 2. and Luke 4: 18 – 19
- Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would perform miracles. Jesus performed many miracles.
- The prophecy of the suffering servant (Isaiah 53) was fulfilled through the passion, death and crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
- We see Jesus betrayed by one of his disciples – friend, fulfilling the Psalmist prophecy.
Note that the Jews in the New Testament expected a messiah who would deliver them from the rule of the Romans. Jews expected Jesus to be a political leader or king. However, Peter called him ‘the Christ of
God’ (Luke 9:20). Matthew called him King of the Jews in chapter (2 verse 2). Hence, Jesus came as a Spiritual Leader and King, and not as a political Leader / King.
- What does the name Emmanuel mean?
- Explain the concept of the Messiah in the New Testament?
The parents of John the Baptist were Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth. Zechariah’s name meant ‘God has remembered’. Elizabeth’s name meant ‘God has sworn’.
1. The Annunciation – Read – Luke 1:5 – 25.
Zechariah was a priest. He and his wife Elizabeth were old, good and righteous people of God. But they did not have a child. They were barren. But God gave them a child, John the Baptist. His birth was
announced to his father, Zechariah, when he was in the temple offering incense. An Angel appeared to Zechariah and told him that his prayers had been heard. His wife Elizabeth will bear a son. The angel said
the child would be called John, which means that ‘God is gracious’.
- Will be set aside to serve God.
- Will be filled with the Holy Spirit
As an adult, John
- Will be a Nazarite. He should neither cut his hair nor drink wine.
- Shall turn many hearts of people to the Lord their God.
- Shall also turn the hearts of the fathers to their children
Zachariah expressed unbelief to these words. Angel Gabriel told him that he shall be dumb until the fulfillment of the God’s words.
Elizabeth brought forth a son. This brought great joy to her and Zachariah. The cousins, and neighbours of Elizabeth wanted the Child to be named Zechariah after the father. But Elizabeth insisted on the
name John. When Zechariah was asked to name the child, he wrote down the name John. On the 8th day, the child was named John as the angel had said. John was circumcised on the 8th day according to
the Jewish traditions.
After naming his Child John, the mouth of Zechariah opened immediately and he started to speak. He sung a song – referred to as Benedictus in Luke 1:67 – 79. As he sung the Benedictus, Zechariah
prophesied that God has:
- Raised up a horn of salvation on the house of David
- Remembered his covenant with Abraham
Zechariah said this about his Child John:
- He shall be the prophet of the Most High
- The child/John shall prepare the way of the Lord by
- Calling men to forgiveness
- Showing men the light of salvation
- Guiding people into peace.
The role of John the Baptist is found in Isaiah 40: 3 – 5, Malachi 3:1, 4:5 – 6, and Luke 7: 20 – 35.
John the Baptist had an important role to play according to the Angel who announced his coming birth.
His role was to:
- Be a Prophet with qualities of Elijah (see Malachi 3:1, 4:5)
- Announce the good news to come just like Elijah did.
- Be the link between the Old Testament and New Testament
- Prepare the way for the Lord.
- Announce the coming of God’s reign that was near.
- Preach a baptism of repentance
- Baptize with water
- Introduce people, and his disciples to the Messiah – Jesus Christ.
- Fulfil the Prophecy of Elijah that a messenger was sent before the coming of the Messiah. John the Baptist was likened to Elijah.
Topic review questions
- Outline the qualities of John as described by angel Gabriel to Zechariah
- Why was John referred to as the second Elijah?
- What lessons do Christians learn from annunciation of the birth of John the Baptist?
- describe the birth of John the Baptist
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