John the Baptist fulfilled prophecy. Geography fulfilled prophecy. Now we're going to see that the miracles of Christ fulfilled prophecy.
We're glad you've joined us for the Truth Pulpit with Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. We've just begun an exciting journey through the four Gospels in a series titled Portraits of Christ. The first portrait is provided courtesy of Matthew, a Jewish tax gatherer who sought to prove Jesus is the one and only fulfillment of the Old Testament messianic prophecies. He begins his gospel with a rather exhaustive genealogy detailing our Lord's lineage beginning with Abraham. Now Don, we're often tempted to kind of gloss over all those begots and begats and just jump ahead.
Now in doing so, we'd miss out on vital background, right? That's right, Bill. My brother or sister in Christ, the genealogies in Scripture testify to God's sovereign direction of history to accomplish his purpose. You know, if you think about it, two thousand years before Christ, God promised to Abraham that his seed would bless the nations. A thousand years after that, God promised David that his descendant would sit on the throne. So when Matthew calls Jesus the Son of David and the Son of Abraham, he's saying that God kept his promise. All of history points to Christ. That's why we trust and worship him alone. Here's Don Green with part two of a message titled, The Promised King, here on The Truth Pulpit. God was keeping his promise to send a king and events which Jesus humanly could never have controlled on his own because he was only an infant. God was orchestrating to be the fulfillment of the prophecy so that Israel could know this was really their king, so that we now, two thousand years later, can look through Scripture and say, Jesus has to be the one. There was never another one like him and there never will be another one, therefore our faith in him could not possibly be misplaced. That's the thing.
That's what we're supposed to see. Jesus Christ is the promised king. Now, you take these things and you meditate upon them. You set aside the things that trouble you about earthly life. You look beyond your own life. You look beyond your own circumstances and you see this magnificent Christ being raised up, being lifted up in the pages of Scripture, and the effect that that is to have on us is to give our exclusive attention to him, to recognize that he is the Messiah. He is set apart.
There is no one else like him and there never will be. And as the unique nature of Christ in fulfilling prophecy settles in on your mind, more and more your heart is elevated to worship and honor him because you realize he is distinct from you, he is greater than you, he is greater than anyone else, he is Jesus, the promised king, and you love him and you worship him in response to that. And as part of that, as you start to realize who he is and the sovereign purposes of God that are at work in the life of Christ, you start to mature in your faith. You start to get settled and take deeper root.
When you realize who Christ is, you are no longer tossed about by the waves of change, by the waves of false teaching that come and go. You say, no, no, no, no, no, there's no reason for me to drift. There's no reason for me to fear.
There's no reason for me to be angry here. I know the king. I belong to Christ.
What else could I want? I am in line with, God has brought me into harmony with, for lack of severe lack of a better term, God has included me in his eternal plans in Christ. I see it in the fulfillment of prophecy about Christ. If I belong to him, what else matters by comparison? And you start to settle, and you start to trust, and you start to disassociate yourself from your anxieties and your worries.
You start to disassociate yourself from the trivialities of the world's entertainment and the things that preoccupy men and women of the world. Because, because you see it for what it is, you see that it is all so trivial and superficial by comparison to the fact that Jesus Christ fulfills prophecies that span millennia. And as Christ gets greater in your eyes and your own sense of self diminishes by comparison, that's where you as a Christian are supposed to be.
That's where we're supposed to be. Christ, high, elevated, lifted up. Me, a servant at his feet. That's what we see when we realize that Jesus is the promised King. Now, thirdly, as you move on from the person of Christ to the youth of Christ, you move into the public ministry of Christ. Point number three, the ministry of Christ. And you see Matthew going to the same careful extent of affirming that what Jesus was doing in his public ministry was the fulfillment of prophecies made centuries earlier.
The life of Christ as much as the person of Christ was fulfilling earlier promises that God had made to his people. Look at Matthew chapter 3. Matthew chapter 3. Now in those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea saying, repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. John the Baptist, as you well know, was the forerunner of the Messiah.
He preached a message of repentance, of a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, and he drew the attention of Israel to his teaching all for the simple point of being able to say, the one who comes after me is the one in whom you are to believe. Well even the forerunner, John the Baptist, had been referenced by Isaiah the prophet. Look at verse 3. For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said, in Isaiah chapter 40, the voice of one crying in the wilderness, make ready the way of the Lord, make his path straight. The one who prepared the way for Jesus had been prepared for 700 years earlier by prophecy. The very ministry of John the Baptist fulfilled the promise. Now as you continue on, the geographic focus of Christ's early ministry was a fulfillment of prophecy. Look at chapter 4 verse 12. Now when Jesus heard that John had been taken into custody, he withdrew into Galilee and leaving Nazareth he came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. Verse 14.
Look at this. This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet. The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali by the way of the sea beyond the Jordan Galilee of the Gentiles. The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great light and those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death upon them a light dawned. The very geographic area in which Christ ministered at that time was fulfilling prophecy.
He was on a prophetic timetable which was certain in its fulfillment because a sovereign God was directing it to accomplish his ends. And so from verse 17, from that time Jesus began to preach and say, repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. The kingdom, the kingdom, the kingdom. Why the kingdom?
Simple. The king was there. The kingdom was at hand because Jesus the promised king was there in their midst. The one who reigned was in front of them. And so John the Baptist fulfilled prophecy.
Geography fulfilled prophecy. Now we're going to see that the miracles of Christ fulfilled prophecy. Turn to Matthew chapter 8. Matthew chapter 8 beginning in verse 14. When Jesus came into Peter's home, he saw his mother-in-law lying sick in bed with a fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and waited on him. When evening came, they brought to him many who were demon-possessed and he cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were ill. Verse 17.
This sounds starting to sound like a broken record, isn't it? This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet. Quote, he himself took our infirmities and carried away our diseases.
End quote. Christ performed these miraculous healings. Matthew says, see in these miracles the fulfillment of prophecy. And as you see in the fulfillment of the prophecies, look to the person who is fulfilling them and recognize that he is the king that God has long promised. The king is now here. The kingdom is at hand and it's verified by the miracles he does and did, which all were spoken of before they ever took place. There's no doubt about this. This is a matter of divine certainty guaranteed by the prophets who spoke it, guaranteed by Matthew who recorded the life of Christ under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and now guaranteed as the Holy Spirit himself certifies to your heart the truthfulness of the Word of God.
There is multiple divine attestation to the person of Christ, the prophets, the gospel writers, the Spirit working in your own heart. This is why we preach the Bible. This is why I don't try to entertain you with stories. This is why we don't joke around. There's too much at stake.
This is too important. Why would we talk about those kinds of trivialities when Christ is right here in front of us in his Word? Why would we not focus on him? Why would any preacher not bring Christ to your immediate attention as his sole obligation of us pulpit?
Those men will have to answer for that. As you move along, Matthew tells you that the teaching of Christ fulfilled prophecy. His forerunner fulfilled prophecy, the geography fulfilled prophecy, the miracles fulfilled prophecy, the teaching fulfills prophecy. Matthew chapter 13 beginning in verse 10. The disciples came and said to Jesus, Matthew 13 verse 10, Why do you speak to them in parables? Jesus answered them, To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. For whoever has, to him more shall be given. And he will have an abundance, but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.
Now look at verse 13. Therefore, Christ speaking, therefore I speak to them in parables, because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. In their case, the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, You will keep on hearing, but will not understand. You will keep on seeing, but will not perceive. For the heart of the people has become dull.
With their ears they scarcely hear, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they would see with their eyes, hear with their ears, and understand with their heart in return, and I would heal them. Why did Jesus teach as he did at this point in his ministry? Because Isaiah the prophet said that he would, and the word of God must be fulfilled. The word of the prophets must be fulfilled. That's the whole theme running through Matthew. And so the teaching of Christ, fulfilled prophecy.
And so, you know what, this does something as you read the gospels. As you read the gospels about the life of Christ, you should read them with this sense in your mind, that what you are reading is the unfolding of the sovereign eternal plan of God that was certain of its fulfillment. There was nothing random about the life of Christ.
There was nothing incidental. There was nothing that that was outside of what God had intended to happen. As we read about Christ, we're reading about something that had a chronological and prophetic context that informs the way that we are to understand and interpret it. We read the Old Testament, and then we see Christ blooming out of what the prophet said.
You see the theme, right? God had kept his promise to send a miracle-working, teaching king. And that's who we worship here today. Now, we see it from our perspective with the benefit of the passage of time and with the benefit of the apostolic writings after the gospels in Acts and Paul's letters and the general epistles and so forth. But the Jews at that time were looking for a different kind of king.
They were looking for a political, military deliverer, a conquering hero who would overthrow Rome and give them political deliverance. Jesus, and this is a little bit of a pause in the prophetic fulfillment passages, Jesus clarifies in the heart of his ministry that his purpose in coming was different than their expectations. Look at Matthew, chapter 20, verse 25. Jesus called them to himself and said, you know that the rulers of the Gentiles lorded over them and their great men exercise authority over them.
It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Verse 28, just as the son of man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life a ransom for many. Jesus in his first advent, of which we read here in the gospels, was not coming to be a political king. He was coming a political king who would provide a political deliverance.
What I'm about to say is incredibly precious. Jesus, this promised king, came to provide a spiritual deliverance, and this king who has all authority, this king who is the fulfillment of prophecy, this king who is the son of man, this king who is the son of God, this king who was there before creation, this king came to earth taking on human flesh. This king came with a royal pedigree. This king came with authority, and yet this king came to serve.
This king came to lay down his precious life as a ransom payment to deliver Jews and Gentiles alike from sin. Where can you go to begin to grasp the glory, the majesty, and the incomprehensibility of such glory? Here is the Lord Jesus. Here is the promised king saying, I'm not here to have you serve me.
I'm here to serve you with my own blood. It would be enough to humble us eternally before Christ to simply recognize the majesty of who he is in his very essence as the second member of the Holy Trinity. To recognize that in Christ we have the prophetic fulfillment of what the prophets spoke hundreds of years in advance. He's greater than us.
I mean, you get that, right? You realize that Christ is everything, and by comparison we are nothing. And not just by comparison nothing as sinful, by comparison nothing. And yet this promised king came as a servant to us to lay down his life which has infinite value, infinite merit, eternal value. He laid it down in order to rescue us from sin, to pay the redemption price from sin.
This is multiplied glory upon exponential glory that tongue can't express. We are in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, and we are in the presence of one of unspeakable majesty, unspeakable pedigree, and unspeakable condescension. Why did this king not simply destroy the rebels who were around him? Why did he not just destroy you and me in our sin and guilt?
It's not like we were looking for him. What kind of king lays down his life for his people? This is a reversal of order. The kings rule and the subjects obey. Here's a king going underneath his subjects as it were to serve them with his life.
I love him, don't you? He's the king, and yet he came to serve. He came to serve in his first advent, came to serve at the cross, came to pay a ransom for his people.
There's not adequate words of gratitude, is there? There's not adequate words of worship that could exhaust the fullness of the majesty of what this gospel says about Jesus of Nazareth. You see, and when you recognize who Christ is, you begin to recognize that your life, you owe him your life, and it's not out of a legal obligation that you would respond to him that way. You're so drawn to his majesty, so drawn to the grace, the unmerited favor that a king would show to you that all you can do is respond to him with love and an obedient spirit that says, Lord, having saved me, what would you have me do? Because, Lord, there is nothing too great that you could ask from me. The authority of this prophetic king, the condescension of this gracious savior was unlimited toward us, and therefore, in response, as those who are now his people through faith in Christ, it's obvious. It's the desire of the redeemed heart that says, Lord, there would be no limits on what I would give to you in response. In response to your unlimited gift of your life, I just want to respond with an unlimited sacrifice of myself in return.
No limits, no preconditions, just an abandonment of myself to follow after you for your inherent supreme worth. Jesus's entry into Jerusalem prior to his crucifixion fulfilled prophecy. Matthew 21 verse 1. When they approached Jerusalem and come to Bethphage at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples saying to them, Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there in a colt with her.
Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, The Lord has need of them, and immediately he will send them. Verse 4.
Here it is again. This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet. Say to the daughter of Zion, Behold your king is coming to you, gentle and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden. His entry into Jerusalem fulfilled the prophet. The king had arrived, all in full perfect fulfillment of prophecy.
The divine timetable spoken into existence, let's say, centuries before in the Old Testament was now in full operation. The king had arrived. The Messiah was there. The anointed one was on the scene.
This one of whom we have spoken today, the one of whose glory we have feebly tried to expound. He's there, and what did they do with him? They killed him!
They killed him! You're listening to The Truth Pulpit with Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. So far in this portrait of Christ from the Gospel of Matthew, you've seen the fact of Christ's being the promised king shown through his person, his youth, and his ministry. Next time, Don will add a fourth point, Christ's death, as we conclude a message titled, The Promised King. And then we'll be moving into the other three Gospels, so don't miss a moment of The Truth Pulpit. Meanwhile, friend, we remind you that the messages you hear on The Truth Pulpit are of practical necessity, edited for time. While you'll always get the salient points, you need to understand the heart of the subject matter, there's even more treasure to be mined from Don's full-length messages. If you'd like to delve a little deeper, just visit thetruthpulpit.com and look for the link, Follow Don's Pulpit. That'll take you to Don's weekly sermon podcasts. Again, that's at thetruthpulpit.com. And we are so happy you desire to know God's word better. Keep it up. I'm Bill Wright. See you next time on The Truth Pulpit with Don Green.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-25 21:17:34 / 2023-06-25 21:26:02 / 8