Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Fulfilled Prophecy: Jesus Born in Bethlehem. When Was Jesus Born? Part 1. Jesus’ Jewish Heritage. Update.


Belated, but for "Scripture Sunday." 

Fulfilled Prophecy: Jesus Born in Bethlehem.

Matthew 2:4-6

image "And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you shall come a Ruler who will shepherd My people Israel.’”

The New Testament records dozens of Old Testament passages that were fulfilled in Jesus Christ. (The Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary, Volume 1, lists more than 100 such Old Testament passages on pages 1037-1040.) Matthew includes four quotes about Christ’s birth and young life, including this one.

Jealous and paranoid, King Herod was greatly disturbed when the wise men asked, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him” (Matthew 2:2).

Herod realized that they were talking about the coming of the Messiah (Christ in Greek), and he asked the religious leaders what the Bible prophesied about the coming of the Messiah. They accurately pinpointed the prophecy about Bethlehem in Micah 5:2  "But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past."

(Ephrathah, or Ephrath, is the ancient name for the town of Bethlehem, in Judah, in the southern part of the land of Israel.)

Though Herod was willing to turn to Scripture to try to find the One he felt threatened by, he was not willing to recognize God’s power and authority. In fact he tried to thwart God’s plan, first through deceit, then through a terrible act of mass murder, killing all the male children from age 2 and under in the area of Bethlehem (Matthew 2:16). This was prophesied in Jeremiah 31:15 and depicted in Revelation 12:4 where Satan, the dragon, was ready “to devour her Child as soon as it was born.” But Christ was protected from this onslaught, as we will see.

You can find more background about these events in the article “The Birth of Jesus.”"


When Was Jesus Born? Part 1

Luke 1:5

"There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.

The Bible does not tell us exactly when Jesus Christ was born. The closest hint, found in this verse, seems to point to Christ’s birth in the fall of the year.

What’s the connection? Verse 36 shows that Jesus Christ was born about six months after John the Baptist was born. And John the Baptist would have been conceived nine months earlier (15 months before Christ’s birth), shortly after his father Zacharias had received a message from an angel while serving at the temple.

When did Zacharias serve at the temple? One source says he probably served one-week stints around mid-May and mid-November. (E.W. Bullinger uses the dates June 13-19.) King David had divided the priests into 24 courses, of which the division of Abijah was the eighth (1 Chronicles 24:10). These divisions each served a week at a time, so that each division served two weeks at the temple each year according to the sacred calendar, in addition to the festivals.

A number of commentators lean toward a May or June date for Zacharias’ meeting with Gabriel. Adding 15 months to that would put Jesus Christ’s birth in perhaps August or September. (If Zacharias met Gabriel around November or December, Christ’s birth would have been in perhaps February or March.)

Either way would not support a Dec. 25 birth date.

For more about why Jesus Christ’s birth could not have been Dec. 25 and how it came to be celebrated that day, see our article “Christmas: Should Christians Celebrate It?”"


Jesus’ Jewish Heritage

Matthew 1:17

"So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations.

The genealogies of Matthew 1 and Luke 3 give context to the life of Jesus Christ, the Son of God who also was the descendant of Abraham and David. Both David and Jesus were of the tribe of Judah (verse 3), the tribe promised the scepter—the symbol of rulership (Genesis 49:10). As Jesus said, He was born to be a King, and He will rule all nations in the Kingdom of God (John 18:37; Revelation 11:15).

Jesus was ethnically a Jew and grew up with a Jewish heritage. The genealogies help to link the Old and New Testaments into the unified whole that God intended. Though Jesus argued against many human traditions that had grown up around the religion of the Bible, He always showed respect for the inspired writings of what we now call the Old Testament and the laws revealed in it. This only makes sense when you consider that Christ was the “spiritual Rock” that followed and worked with ancient Israel (1 Corinthians 10:4).

For more about the inspiration and unity of the Bible, see “Who Wrote the Bible?” and “What Is the Bible?



After a lot of looking and phone calls, the linoleum for the new kitchen and bathroom in the guest house is finally bought.  As there would be sheetrock chunks, loose screws and stuff on the floor while we are changing out the windows, we decided to do that before we installed it.  It is a white lino with a faint grey marble look to it.  OK, so it might get dirty, but I didn't want brown.  I am used to having a light colored lino here, and it always looks clean, even if it is dirty.  Anyway, I would rather see the dirt so I can clean it, than worry about looking at a brown floor and wondering if it is dirty.  I don't clean house on any set schedule, so dirt gets cleaned when it shows !

Worker David came back and worked a couple of mornings, so he got the old tall window out of what will be the new kitchen, and the new wide window in it's place.  He even fixed the sheetrock inside, but I got a'thinkin', and realized he hadn't put any insulation in the top and bottom where the old window had been, so I unscrewed the new sheetrock and put it in myself.  The new kitchen and bathroom will both have a few modifications and additions to the wiring, so there is no sense in taping, floating or painting yet.

Jay has been hung over, but still came to work.  We got the new wide bathroom window installed where there hadn't been one before.  It goes across the outside wall fairly high up. We have also taken out the side window in the new kitchen because it is just in the way of the plans. A smaller window will be put in on that side, only closer to the front.  Then there will be room for a stove, kind of an important asset !  It should be a good view from the kitchen with these two new windows.

Jay didn't go to church with me, so I had to load the crock-pots full of chicken gumbo and brown rice by myself.  The Bible readings were Gen. 23:1-25:18, 1 Kings 1:1-31, Luke 9:57-62.  The Teaching was about Looking Further and Deeper, about studying and getting deep into the Word.

The potluck was great and everyone enjoyed the beef roast, other dishes, and pies. It seems to fall upon me to make the garlic bread when I get there.  All my chicken gumbo was eaten.  Just a little brown rice and veggies were left in my second crock pot, so I had that with some ground buffalo the next day.

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