A Fulfillment of the Prophets

Pause: Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew 1:18-25, Micah 5:2-5a and Matthew 2:1-12, Hosea 11:1 and Matthew 2:13-23

When Jesus was born more than 2000 years ago, most of the world was oblivious to the fact that He had arrived. Social media just wasn’t a thing back then. Mary wasn’t texting her best friend at the first sign of birth pangs. Grandma wasn’t tweeting that Mary was in labor. And Joseph wasn’t posting pictures moments after the birth. In those pre-social media days, people had to wait for birth announcements.

As we all know, waiting takes great patience, and for the people of Israel, waiting for the Messiah spanned countless generations. Since the time of Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:15), mankind had been waiting for the coming of their Redeemer. They imagined how He would arrive with great power, but when He came in fulfillment of the prophets, He came quietly, in a whisper, much like how His voice spoke to Elijah (I Kings 19:12). While many people missed the whisper, some recognized the prophecies fulfilled that a young virgin shunned, not a respected queen, was His mother. That a stable in Bethlehem, not a palace in Jerusalem, was His birthplace. That an escape to Egypt and then Nazareth, not a coronation at the Temple, marked his earliest days.

Ponder: Who in today’s reading heard the whispered birth announcement of the Baby Jesus? How did they respond? How are you responding to the news that Jesus arrived — and will one day come again?

Pray: I love how You allowed a variety of people to learn of Your Son’s birth and early days in this world and how, even with the birth announcements circulating of many prophecies fulfilled, You made sure He lived most of His life in obscurity. You had a perfect plan that at the right time He might fulfill even more prophecies and carry my sins to the cross. Thank You, Father, for allowing me to hear the birth announcement and respond. May I boldly declare the news of the coming King to those around me in this advent season.

— Jaime Sherman