Blessed… Prophecy Fulfilled

Now when Jesus heard that John was arrested, he went to Galilee. He left Nazareth and settled in Capernaum, which lies alongside the sea in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali.  This fulfilled what Isaiah the prophet said: Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, alongside the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who lived in the dark have seen a great light, and a light has come upon those who lived in the region and in shadow of death. From that time Jesus began to announce, “Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven!” (Matthew 4:12-17, Common English Bible).

Wow! We are only four chapters into Matthew’s Gospel and counting the one here, there have already been seven occurrences of  words similar to, “This is the fulfill the words of prophecy.” Jesus has barely gotten started, there have been no disciples called, there has been no preaching, there has been no miracles. Yet we have already heard from the prophets seven times. It might just make some people think that someone was trying to tell us and the many generations between us and Jesus something! Inquiring minds want to know!! I know, cornball line. I just couldn’t help myself.

Without question, prophecy fulfillment in each case is at least part of the equation. Part of it also is a matter of practicality. In chapter 1, a virgin becoming pregnant. It fulfilled the prophecy but there was no other way to remove original sin from the life of the Messiah.

Then in chapter 2, Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem did fulfill prophecy. The birth needed to happen in Bethlehem to confirm the tie to the lineage of King David. Later in the chapter the fleeing to Egypt might have been to fulfill the prophecy of God’s son coming from Egypt but it also met a much more practical need. Jesus couldn’t even begin ministry if he was killed as a young child.

I could go on with each of the other prophecies but I don’t think its necessary. You can go back and read them and draw your own conclusions.

In the case of our lesson today, Jesus needed a base of operations. I think he had a pretty good idea where at least a good chunk of his disciples were going to come from, they were fishermen on the Sea of Galilee. Why not make their home your home base. Additionally, as we can see in chapters to come, Jesus really couldn’t have made Nazareth the home base, people weren’t going to accept him there. He had to pick another place.

Jesus also knew, if he were arrested, as the lesson tells us John had been, his ministry, in the way it had to play out, would not have been possible if he was sitting in jail. Any number of people could have identified Jesus with John the Baptist. And, if you think that isn’t a big deal, in the days of the Roman Empire people were arrested for less. Innocent until proven guilty didn’t exist in those days.

 There are a couple of conclusions I draw from these fulfilled prophecies. First, if we are to see the words of the prophets played out in succeeding history or in the future, we first have to know the words of prophecy. I have heard a number of folks say over the years, “We are a New Testament people. We don’t need to study the Old Testament.” That might sound good but it is wrong. We need to study the Old Testament because God had a great deal to say in those pages.

Second, I think God not only was speaking to those in the Biblical era but speaking to us as well. For me, what these fulfilled prophecies do is, show that God and the Word of God can be trusted. Just as God fulfilled and is fulfilling the prophecies of old and God was with those people, God can be trusted to be with us too.

Is there a place where you see God fulfilling prophecy today?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Peace,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved.

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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