“Let them bring them, and tell us what is to happen.
Tell us the former things, what they are, that we may consider them,
that we may know their outcome; or declare to us the things to come.”
As I have been writing, I’m really excited about all this messianic prophecy stuff. What’s cool is there are different types of prophecy. In fact, in Matthew 2, we see four types. I’ll go over them each, probably one a day. It’ll give you a flavor.
First is called Direct Fulfillment. Let’s compare Matthew 2:5-6 and Micah 5:2
Matthew 2:5-6 “’And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
Micah 5:2 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.
If you recall, the three wise men came looking for the king of the Jews who had just been born. Herod, the king, summoned the chief priests and scribes and asked them where this was to happen. They told him just what he asked – where.
This is a direct fulfillment of scripture. The Messiah was to be born in the clan of Judah. In Bethlehem. The prophecy was far more important than just to inform Herod. It was all part of God’s overall promise to David that his throne would last forever. David was of the tribe of Judah.
What the scribes and prophets left out when they relayed this to Herod was the hope that was in this king. Micah, like all the other prophets, had a theme that switched from judgment to hope. This king, to be born in Bethlehem of the tribe of Judah, was to be the hope that God had spoken of from the beginning. As we will eventually see, our first glimpse of this king came as a result of The Fall.
Genesis 3:15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
Apparently, the particular combination of words in the original manuscript of Micah makes it clear that this person, this Messiah, wasn’t simply born on a particular date. No, he always existed and always will. This couldn’t be fulfilled by man but rather by someone who must be both man and God. Yet, this possibility wasn’t really allowed to sink in when the scribes and pharisees were confronted by Jesus, about thirty years later.
John 8:56-59 “Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.
The priests and scribes knew the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem, and they knew he is eternal, but they didn’t want Jesus to be the one.
Father, what a treat this is! Amen.