Sunday, December 23, 2007
Last Sunday morning I was flipping through the TV channels before leaving for church. I was so sad to hear a pastor of a very large church begin his teaching about the gospel of Matthew, the very beginning of the New Testament. He told his congregation, "The first chapter of Matthew is pretty boring, all of those begots and all…Abraham begot Isaac, and Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers, And Judah begot Pharez and Zarah of Tamar, and Pharez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Aram…” He went on to say, “If you can hang in there long enough you will get to the good stuff.”
It grieved me to hear that. This pastor had missed such a great opportunity to share with his church. When I was a new Christian I had no idea what this list of names in the beginning of the New Testament was all about. Now I know differently. This list of names is the geneology of Jesus. Just as God began the book of Genesis with the words, “In the beginning…” so he does the same thing here in the New Testament. He starts in the beginning by fulfilling the prophecy of the coming Messiah being from the line of David (Heir to the throne of David. Isaiah 9:6-7). He gives every single name of every relative of Jesus. He not only proves for us that Mary was from the line of David, but that Joseph, Jesus’ father here on earth was also from the line of David. What an AWESOME way to begin the New Testament!
My daughter Meghan is taking a math class this year called, ‘Probability and Statistics’. In this class she takes statistics and then with this information, she comes to a probable solution to the question given. I looked up the word probable and LOVED the definition…”Having more evidence for than against, evidence that inclines the mind to belief but leaves some room for doubt.” God has given us so much evidence of His existence. We will always have those moments where we may doubt. Praise God, through His Word and prophecies fulfilled, He has given us very little room for that. Our faith does not have to take a very big leap at all. This morning I have included a list of just a few of the prophecies of Jesus.
There are over 300 prophecies of our saviour in the Bible. Again I must repeat that I have included just a few below. I have also included below, an excerpt from an interview with Josh Mcdowell on the internet called ‘What are the Odds'.
WHAT ARE THE ODDS?
"What is the probability that just eight of these prophecies could be fulfilled in one individual? Dr. Peter Stoner, in an analysis that was carefully reviewed and pronounced to be sound by the American Scientific Affiliation, states that the probability of just eight prophecies being fulfilled in just one person is 1 in 10 to the 17th power.
That's 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000!
Now maybe your minds go that high, but mine doesn't. So let me give you a visual picture of what it is. Take the state of Texas and fill the entire state two feet deep with silver dollars. Then take one silver dollar, mark it with a big red X, toss it back into the pile, and use bulldozers to mix up the entire state of dollars.
Then, blindfold a person, and starting at El Paso on the western border, let him walk the entire length and breadth of the state, from Amarillo to Laredo, all the way to Galveston on the Gulf of Mexico, stopping just once on the way to pick up a single silver dollar out of that two-foot-deep pile, blindfolded. The probability that on his first attempt he would pick up the silver dollar marked with the red X is the same probability that just eight of these prophecies could be fulfilled in any one individual!
In other words, it is nearly unthinkable to imagine that eight Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah could have come true in one man-let alone the sixty major prophecies that were fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth-unless, of course, he is "the Messiah, the Son of the blessed God," the One who was and is and is to come (Mark 14:61; Revelation 4:8)."
JUST A FEW PROPHECIES FULFILLED...
Tenakh/Hebrew Scripture New Testament
His pre-existence Micah 5:2 John 1:1, 14
Born of the seed of a woman Genesis 3:15 Matthew 1:18
Of the seed of Abraham Genesis 12:3 Matthew 1:1-16
All nations blessed by Abraham's seed Genesis 12:3 Matthew 8:5, 10
God would provide Himself a Lamb as an offering Genesis 22:8 John 1:29
From the tribe of Judah Genesis 49:10 Matthew 1:1-3
Heir to the throne of David Isaiah 9:6-7 Matthew 1:1
Called "The mighty God, The everlasting Father" Isaiah 9:6 Matthew 1:23
Born in Bethlehem Micah 5:2 Matthew 2:1
Born of a virgin Isaiah 7:14 Matthew 1:18
His name called Immanuel, "God with us" Isaiah 7:14 Matthew 1:23
Declared to be the Son of God Psalm 2:7 Matthew 3:17
His messenger before Him in spirit of Elijah Malachi 4:5-6 Luke 1:17
Preceded by a messenger to prepare His way Malachi 3:1 Matthew 11:7-11
Messenger crying "Prepare ye the way of the Lord" Isaiah 40:3 Matthew 3:3
Would be a Prophet of the children of Israel Deuteronomy 18:15 Matthew 2:15
Called out of Egypt Hosea 11:1 Matthew 2:15
Slaughter of the children Jeremiah 31:15 Matthew2:18
Would be a Nazarene Judges 13:5; Amos 2:11;
Lam. 4:7 Matthew 2:23
Brought light to Zabulon & Nephthalm, Galilee of the Gentiles Isaiah 9:1-2 Matthew 4:15
Presented with gifts Psalm 72:10 Matthew 2:1, 11