Matthew 1:20-23

“As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. Joseph, son of David, the angel said, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Moreover, she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus for he will save his people from their sins. All of this occurred to fulfil the Lord’s message through his prophet: Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel which means ‘God is with us.”

The decision for the Messiah to come into the world was not an afterthought, following the sin of Adam and Eve in the garden, but rather it was a well-planned move by God.

The Scripture has made this fact very clear in Revelation 13:8 “all inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.” He is the Lamb who was slain from before the foundation of the world.

In this two-part message, we will examine the Messianic prophecies relating to the Birth of Christ. It has been estimated that nearly one-third of the Bible contains prophecies concerning the life of Jesus.

Many of these prophecies have already been fulfilled, while there are numerous yet to happen. Every prophecy concerning His birth, life and death have been fulfilled with remarkable precision.

Isaiah 40:3 spoke of the birth of the Messiah to be preceded by a forerunner. “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Matthew, in his gospel, 3:1-3 confirms with the following words, “in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near. This is he whom the prophet Isaiah spoke about; “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.”

Concerning His Birth, Isaiah wrote in Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: a virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Again, Matthew, in his writings confirm its fulfilment. Matthew 1:22-23, “All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

Matthew points out that the Messiah will be named “Immanuel”
which means “God with us.” Undoubtedly, the Jewish people accepted the deity of the Messiah. They never questioned His nature, works or person. They looked forward eagerly to His appearance in the hope that He will bring freedom from Roman domination.

In addition to what the prophets already said about the birth of the Messiah, another very interesting prophetic development has to do with the place of His birth. Where would be the birthplace of the Messiah? It would seem easy, from our vantage historical position to answer that question.

However, it probably, was not that easy for the Rabbis to identify the actual birthplace or the virgin. The prophetic seems to have a cryptic nature that makes unravelling somewhat difficult. Where would the Messiah have come from? The prophets identified three places, Bethlehem, Egypt and Nazareth.

We now examine the following Scriptures to amplify this concept. Micah 5:2 states that the Messiah will come from Bethlehem, “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.”

Matthew subsequently confirmed the fulfilment of this prophecy. Matthew 2:1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem.

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Paul Mursalin is a member of the International Board of Barnabas Fund from Guyana.