Saturday, January 2, 2016

Triplets of Prophecies Fulfilled: Mary, Mother of Jesus



Reflecting God’s Triune nature as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, patterns of three abound in Scripture. Three women named Mary were close to Jesus in His earthly ministry, beginning with His mother Mary, the willing handmaid of the Lord (Luke 1:38). God had orchestrated the details of Mary’s life to fulfill various Messianic prophecies through her son Jesus, including her genealogy, residence, and betrothal.

Mary’s genealogy (Luke 3:23-38) extends all the way back to God Himself, emphasizing that Jesus is God’s only begotten Son (John 3:16). It includes three noteworthy ancestors, Adam, Noah, and Enoch, who remind us of God’s love, mercy, and grace.

The disobedience of God’s first son Adam (and his wife Eve) brought the curse of sin, sorrow and death upon themselves, the earth and all mankind (Genesis 3:6-19). Had they not rebelled, there would have been no need for God to send His Son Jesus as the sinless Sacrifice to reconcile sinful man to Himself (2 Corinthians 5:18-19; Hebrews 2:17), showing His perfect, infinite, self-sacrificing love (John 3:16; 15:13).

Wickedness continued to increase through the days of Noah, when God destroyed all the earth’s inhabitants by flood. Yet in His mercy, He saved the faithful remnant of Noah and his family who loved, believed and obeyed God (Genesis 6-8), just as He continues to save all sinners who call on His Name in faith (Acts 2:21; 15:11).

Enoch foreshadows God’s grace that awaits all His children still living when He returns for us at the Rapture. Because Enoch walked with God, God took Enoch to be with Him forever, without experiencing death (Genesis 5:24). Similarly, those us who are alive and remain will be caught up in our glorified bodies to meet the Lord in the air (1 Corinthians 15:21-58; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17).

Through these three ancestors of Jesus Christ, we have the promise that just God must punish sin, yet His mercy substituted His Son to pay our debt in full (Romans 3:25; 1 John 2:2; 4:10), and His grace gives all who trust Him eternal life with Him (Romans 3:20-24; 6:23);.

Mary’s lineage also includes three ancestors mentioned in Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah (Daniel 9:25), meaning Anointed One or Christ (John 4:25), Who would deliver His people from their sins. That Messiah was the Seed of Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3; Luke 3:34) and of his son Isaac (Genesis 17:19; 21:12; Luke 3:34; Romans 9:7; Hebrews 11:17-18) Who would bless all nations (Genesis 22:15-18; 26:1-4; Acts 3:25-26; Galatians 3:8,16), descending through the line of Isaac’s son, Jacob (Genesis 28:1-15; Luke 3:34).

Three additional ancestors in Mary’s lineage also point to her Son as being the promised Messiah, Who would be the Seed of Judah (Jacob’s son; Genesis 49:1,8:12; Luke 3:33), the Rod from Jesse (Isaiah 11:1; Luke 3:32) and the Light of David (1 Kings 11:36; 2 Chronicles 21:7; Luke 3:31).

Scripture further describes Jesus Christ as the Son (Matthew 1:1; 9:27; 12:23; 15:22, etc.), Seed (2 Samuel 7:12-13; 1 Chronicles 17:11-15), and Root and Offspring of David (Revelation 22:16). He will rule forever on David’s throne (Luke 1:32) as the Righteous Branch, King, and The Lord Our Righteousness Who will reign, prosper, and execute judgment and justice in the earth (Jeremiah 23:5-6; 33:14-15).

Through God’s preordained plan, Mary’s family tree therefore positioned her to give birth to the promised Messiah, as did her engagement and her dwelling places. She was betrothed to Joseph, a humble carpenter who was also in the lineage of David (Matthew 1: 1-16), so that Jesus’ claim to the throne when He comes again cannot be challenged (Luke 1:32-33).

Unlike Mary, who was the biological parent of Jesus, Joseph was not a blood relation, but was “grafted in” to the holy family by his marriage to Mary (Matthew 1:16). To me, this foreshadows God’s love, mercy, and grace in extending His plan of salvation to all people, and not just to His chosen nation of Israel (Luke 2:30-32), even though all have sinned against Him (Romans 3:23). Regardless of our heritage, all who have been grafted in to God’s family (Romans 11:17-24) by their faith in His Son (Ephesians 2:8) become part of the bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:22-27).

God chose Joseph to be Mary’s betrothed not only because he was a descendant of David, but for his qualities of compassion, faith, and obedience to God. When Joseph learned of Mary’s pregnancy, he may have felt rejection, betrayal, and fear. His compassion for her led him to the just decision to put her away privately, rather than humiliating her publicly or even having her stoned, as would be required by the laws of Moses (Matthew 1:18-19).  

Yet he readily believed what the angel of God told him in a dream about Mary’s child, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, would be called Jesus, and would save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:20-21). Joseph followed God’s perfect plan by marrying her, refraining from sexual relations until after she had given birth, and naming the child Jesus (Matthew 1:24-25).

This was the first of three dreams in which the angel of God gave him special instructions, and each time Joseph listened, believed and obeyed (Matthew 2:13-14;19-21), protecting Jesus by removing Him from danger.

Through Mary’s birthplace, betrothal to Joseph, and submission to her husband’s direction as he followed God’s commands, God used the details of her life to carry out three prophecies concerning the geography of Jesus Christ’s life on earth, involving Nazareth, Bethlehem, and Egypt.

Mary was from Nazareth (Luke 1:26-27), thus enabling fulfillment of the prophecy that the Messiah would be a called a Nazarene (Matthew 2:23; Isaiah 11:1). Before Jesus was born, Mary and Joseph left Nazareth to be taxed in Bethlehem, city of David, following the decree of Caesar Augustus that everyone should be taxed in his own city  (Luke 2:1-7) This fulfilled the prophecy that the everlasting Ruler of Israel would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1-6).

And yet then Mary, Joseph and Jesus fled to Egypt to escape the infanticide King Herod had ordered, fearing that the prophesied King of the Jews, born in Bethlehem, would usurp his power. This fulfilled the third prophecy concerning places important in Jesus’ early childhood, for He would be called out of Egypt (Hosea 11:1; Matthew 2:13-15) to return to live in Nazareth.
 
One of the most miraculous prophecies concerning Jesus Christ, and proving His divinity, was His virgin birth, also fulfilled by Mary who allowed herself to be used of God in this unique way, as we shall see next time. As we study the details of Messianic prophecy fulfilled by Jesus Christ, may we have no doubt that God is Who He says He is, that He works all things together for good (Romans 8:28); and that His true Word can be trusted as we look forward with sure hope to His second coming!  


© 2016 Laurie Collett
children's ministry blogs
Bible
Top 1000

Womanhood With Purpose
Adorned From Above
No Ordinary Blog Hop



5 comments:

  1. Dear Laurie,
    A very interesting case about Enoch being raptured after 365 years as a result of choosing to walk with God. But he was not alone. Elijah too was taken up to Heaven without first dying, even though for Elisha's sake, the angels had laid on a spectacular show of fiery horses and a chariot.
    This has made me wonder whether the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11 can be identified as Enoch and Elijah, as neither had died physically in their own day.
    However, the identity of one of them being Moses can be reasoned of the miracles recorded in verse 6, where rain is stopped for a period of time (Elijah's miracle) and the turning of waters into blood and the onset of plagues (Moses' miracles).
    But if one of the witness is to be Moses, then according to Scripture, he would die twice, the first on Mount Nebo (Deuteronomy 34) and again in Jerusalem, slain by Antichrist. This does not make sense.
    I find this to be a very interesting study. Could it be that Moses was disqualified from completing his ministry due to striking the rock instead of speaking to it? (Numbers 20:1-13). And by foresight, God has appointed Enoch to fulfill the task?
    On the other hand, these two witnesses of Rev 11 could be totally different men who will be born at the right time.
    Again, a well-written triune-based post about the ancestry leading to the Nativity.
    I hope you have had a good Christmas, and I wish you a prosperous New Year. God bless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Frank,
      I share your wonder about the identity of the 2 witnesses, and agree that it could be Moses and Elijah, or Elijah and Enoch, or 2 others. There is a precedent for dying twice -- Lazarus died of his illness, then died again at some point after Christ resurrected him. Presumably this can be said of all the others Christ raised from the dead. I also wonder what happened to those who arose from their graves after Christ's resurrection -- did they have glorified bodies that ascended with Christ, or, more likely, were they restored to their previous mortal body and died again at the appointed time?
      Thanks as always for sharing your thought-provoking insights and for your encouragement. We had a wonderful Christmas, and hope you and Alex did too! May you both have a blessed New Year,
      Laurie

      Delete
  2. Dear Frank,
    I share your wonder about the identity of the 2 witnesses, and agree that it could be Moses and Elijah, or Elijah and Enoch, or 2 others. There is a precedent for dying twice -- Lazarus died of his illness, then died again at some point after Christ resurrected him. Presumably this can be said of all the others Christ raised from the dead. I also wonder what happened to those who arose from their graves after Christ's resurrection -- did they have glorified bodies that ascended with Christ, or, more likely, were they restored to their previous mortal body and died again at the appointed time?
    Thanks as always for sharing your thought-provoking insights and for your encouragement. We had a wonderful Christmas, and hope you and Alex did too! May you both have a blessed New Year,
    Laurie

    ReplyDelete
  3. Some believe John will be one of the two witnesses, based on Jesus' statement in Matthew 16:28 and what he told Peter in John 21:22. That appears to be what the other apostles believed. Hebrews 11:5 seems to indicate Enoch will not be one of them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great points, Donald! Time will tell, but I'm glad that the Church will not be around to see it happen, at least not on earth.
      God bless,
      Laurie

      Delete