By Kenny Bruce
Pastor Emeritus, Leawood East Baptist Church, Memphis
There are some 330 prophecies in the Old Testament concerning Jesus.
The prophecy of Micah (Micah 5:2-5a). The people in Judah were insecure because of the threat of the Assyrians invading their nation. Micah gave them hope by prophesying of a future King who would shepherd them. Micah stated that this King would come from Bethlehem.
Furthermore, he foretold of His origin being from “ancient times,” which means from eternity (v. 2). Finally, Micah predicted that, “He will be their peace” (v. 5a). Jesus brings peace that surpasses all understanding to those who trust in Him for their salvation.
The introduction of the wise men (Matthew 2:1-2). The events in these verses probably occurred one to two years after Jesus was born. Jesus was now living in a house rather than the stable where He was born (v. 11). Also, Matthew called Him a child rather than an infant (v. 11).
Wise men came to Jerusalem from the east. They were educated and intelligent. Having been strongly influenced by Judaism from the Babylonian captivity, they probably were familiar with prophetic writings.
The star from the east that led them to Jerusalem was the brilliant shekinah glory of God and a revelation that the King of Israel was born. In Jerusalem, they went around the city asking people where the King of the Jews had been born.
The agitation of Herod (Matthew 2:3-6). When Herod heard what the magi were asking, he was troubled along with all Jerusalem. They believed a new king would probably mean warfare; therefore, Herod felt threatened that another king would overthrow him.
Herod called in the chief priests and scribes and asked them where the Christ would be born. They told him that according to the prophet Micah, He would be born in Bethlehem and would rule His people as a shepherd rules his sheep. As our shepherd and ruler, Jesus constantly has our needs on His mind.
The adoration of the Magi (Matthew 2:9-11) The wise men left Jerusalem to find Jesus in Bethlehem. The star they had seen in the east stopped above the house where Jesus was. When they saw the star, they were ecstatic.
Any time we see the movement of God in our circumstances we, too, rejoice exceedingly.
When they entered the house and saw Jesus, they bowed down and worshiped Him. When we enter the presence of God, we worship. God is so holy, powerful and loving, we spontaneously adore Him in worship. They presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Gold was most precious of metals. It was a gift appropriate for a king.
Frankincense was an expensive incense used in the temple by the priests. The smoke it produced represented the presence of God. Myrrh was a perfume used for embalming. They knew Jesus was born to die.
Like the wise men, when we genuinely worship, we give. When a Christian husband and wife refuse to give gifts to each other this Christmas season in order to give toys and clothes to needy children, they are worshiping God B&R