Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20010530.htm
CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS BY ISAIAH'S PROPHECIES
Part III: Christ Predicted In His Earthly Ministry
(Isaiah 9, 11, 61, 35, 50, 53 and 49)
Lesson: Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled the Isaiah scroll's prophecies about the earthly ministry of the Messiah: (a) He fulfilled the scroll's predictions that Messiah would be a spiritual light uniquely to the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali. (b) He fulfilled the scroll's prediction that Messiah would be of the "Branch" of David's lineage. (c) He fulfilled the scroll's prediction that Messiah would preach and function the issues related in Isaiah 61:1-2a. (d) He fulfilled the scroll's predictions of God's healing the blind, lame and deaf given in Isaiah 35:4-6. (e) He fulfilled the scroll's predictions of Messiah's having early morning fellowship with God given in Isaiah 50:4-5 and (f) of Messiah's being rejected by Israel to His expressed dismay given in Isaiah 49:4 with 53:1-3. Jesus of Nazareth is thus the Messiah and God Incarnate, cf. Isaiah 9:12- with 9:6; Isaiah 35:4-6.
- Jesus Christ, and with Him our entire Christian faith, stands or falls based upon His credibility.
- One of the most significant signals of His credibility, and hence the credibility of our faith, is the way Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled prophecies we can verify existed before His earthly life.
- The life of Jesus was predicted rather extensively in Isaiah as we can verify from archaeological records existing long before the time of Christ as follows:
- Christ Predicted In His Earthly Ministry, Isaiah 9, 11, 61, 35, 50, 53 and 49.
- The Isaiah scroll of the Dead Sea Scrolls consists of all 66 chapters of Isaiah's prophecy, and is written as a single literary unit credited to Isaiah. It is dated by paleontologists around 150 B. C., or approximately 146 years before Christ's birth, Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, Vol. 3, p. 320.
- This scroll predicts events in Messiah's life that match the recorded events of Jesus' life as follows:
- Messiah is predicted in Isaiah 9:1-2 as being a spiritual light to the region of Galilee, specifically involving the tribal areas of Zebulun and Naphtali. Well, Jesus of Nazareth began his early life and ministry in Nazareth of the tribal area of Zebulun according to Luke 4:16 before moving His ministry down to Capernaum by the shores of the Sea of Galilee in tribal Naphtali according to Luke 4:31.
- Messiah is predicted in Isaiah 11:1-4 to be the Branch which would spring forth out of the lineage of David's father, Jesse. Matthew 2:23 records Jesus' settling in Nazareth made Him belong to a group of Jews called "Nazarenes," a derivative of the Hebrew word for "branch" used in Isaiah 11:1. (Ron Allen, a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary reports a group of Jews of the Davidic line, calling themselves the "Branch" returned from the Babylonian exile to settle in Nazareth, giving rise to this name. Hence, Jesus fits the prediction of Isaiah 11:1).
- Messiah is predicted in Isaiah 61:1-2a to preach the gospel to the poor among other ministrations, and Jesus of Nazareth cited this very passage in His message at Nazareth in Luke 4:14-30 to predict that He was fulfilling those words at that time.
- Messiah is predicted in Isaiah 35:4-6 to perform miracles such as giving sight to the blind, healing the lame and giving hearing to the deaf. Jesus of Nazareth performed these miracles and many other kinds according to Luke 4:40 et al.
- Messiah is predicted to rise early in the morning to gain directions from God on what to preach to men in Isaiah 50:4-5, and Mark 1:35 records Jesus of Nazareth would awaken early in the morning to pray and fellowship with God the Father.
- Messiah is predicted to be rejected and despised by the people of Israel and to express His dismay at this rejection in Isaiah 49:4 with 53:1-3. Jesus of Nazareth experienced this rejection and expressed His dismay at it as recorded in John 6:65-68.
Application: (1) Jesus is the Messiah via prophetic fulfillment of Messiah's life, so our Christian faith is credible. (2) Like Christ, we should also minister in the will of God even if our efforts mean we will experience no or little appreciation for dedicated service efforts or even unfair rejection in such efforts!