Matthew quotes a number of passages from the Old Testament to show that Jesus was the fulfillment of prophecy. All the passages he refers to were written hundreds of years before the birth of Christ.
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:
“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
(This is a quotation from Isaiah 7:14 which we have already studied.)
Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:
‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
Are not the least among the rulers of Judah;
For out of you shall come a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.’”
(This is a quotation from Micah 5:2 which we have already studied.)
Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.” When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.
Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.” When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying,
“Out of Egypt I called My Son.”
(This is a quotation from Hosea 11:1. Jesus’ only trip out of Palestine was in Egypt with his parents when he fled from Herod.)
Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying:
“A voice was heard in Ramah,
Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children,
Refusing to be comforted,
Because they are no more.”
(In Jeremiah 31:15 Jeremiah prophesied the pain of the parents who lost their children by Herod’s cruelty. “Rachel” is an idiom for Jewish women. She was the “mother” of the nation. Rachel was buried near Bethlehem. Dying there, she called her son Oni, son of my sorrow. Jacob changed his name to Ben Amin, son of my right hand.)
But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.” Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee. And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets,
“He shall be called a Nazarene.”
(This is a quotation from Isaiah 11:1. A Nazarene was a word of contempt.)
PRINCIPLE: The truth of God’s promises are solid. We can count on God.
APPLICATION: Do you trust God with your life? Does God have a place in the management of your life? Do you believe in the truth of that promise?
There are three ideas that we need to understand to become a Christian.
We have violated God with our sin (Romans 3:10,23).
Jesus Christ paid for our sin, therefore, we do not have to pay for our sin (Romans 5:8).
If we place our faith (trust) in Jesus’ death for our sins, God will forgive us our sins (John 3:16; Romans 4:5; 5:1). Then we begin eternal life while we are still alive (John 3:16).
Will you make that decision today? Any day is a great time to become a Christian, but it is so exciting to give your life to God during the Christmas season! Just pray to God using the three points above. Tell God you have violated him with your sin. Then express your faith that Christ did all the suffering necessary for your sin. Finally, express your belief or trust in what Jesus did for you on the cross to God. If you do that, you are a Christian.