The Gift of Christmas Was Predicted With the Gift of Prophecy
by J Warner Wallace
As Christmas gift exchanges approach, the gift of Jesus is easily obscured. By gifted prophets predicted the birth of the Messiah, and these prophesies, like other Old Testament prophecies, testify to the Divine nature of the Bible. The New Testament contains two different types of prophetic declarations: the prophecies uttered by Jesus and the prophecies fulfilled by Jesus. Old Testament prophets declared the coming of a Savior (a Messiah who would save the Jewish people and the entire world from their sin). Here is a brief summary of the prophecies predicting the gift of Jesus:
The Messiah Would Come from the Tribe of Judah
Jacob made this prophetic prediction around 1400 BC.
The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his.
Christians believe Jesus will establish an everlasting kingdom in the future. His ancestry is traced back to Jacob’s son, Judah, in Luke 3:23-34 and in Matthew 1:1-16.
The Messiah Will Appear After the Jews Return to Israel
Jeremiah uttered this prophecy between 626 BC and 586 BC. It was first fulfilled in Jesus’ earthly ministry and will be fulfilled again in the end times.
‘I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,’ declares the LORD. ‘The days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. 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 Righteousness.”
The Messiah Would Be Born in Bethlehem
The prophet Micah predicted this between 750 BC and 686 BC.
‘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.’
To be fair, there is disagreement regarding the translation of Micah 5:2. Some say the reference to ‘Bethlehem’ is simply a reference to the bloodline of King David. Other people say it is a reference to the town of Bethlehem. Jesus meets both criteria; He is a descendant of King David and He was born in Bethlehem…