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December 26 – The newborn King fulfills prophecy

“And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled: “He shall be called a Nazarene.”” – Matthew 2:23 

Scripture reading: Matthew 2:13-23

Matthew presents numerous events connected to Jesus’ birth and early childhood as fulfillment of ancient prophecies. In Matthew 2:13-23, Matthew tells us that Jesus fulfilled three different prophecies.

First, Matthew writes that the flight of the holy family to Egypt and their return to Israel involved a fulfillment of a prophecy in Hosea 11:1 that spoke of God calling His Son out of Egypt. The prophecy in Hosea 11:1 reveals that the people of God and their deliverance from Egypt was typical of how the Messiah would also be called out of Egypt.

Second, Matthew identifies King Herod’s brutal murder of the Bethlehem infants as a fulfillment of a prophecy in Jeremiah 31:15. Rachel, the beloved wife of the patriarch Jacob, is pictured as mourning for her massacred descendants. This mourning was a type of how Bethlehem’s mothers mourned the death of their infant boys at the hands of Herod’s troops.

Third, an ancient prophecy predicted that Jesus would be called a “Nazarene.” Since Joseph was too scared to live in Bethlehem, he moved the family to Nazareth. Matthew states that this was a fulfillment of prophecy. The apparent difficulty with understanding this prophecy is that we cannot find it in the Old Testament. It is possible that this was a verbal prophecy that had never been written down. Others think that the fact that Jesus lived in a despised town like Nazareth involved Him fulfilling the prophecy in Isaiah 53:3 that said that the Messiah would be “despised and rejected of men.”

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that the Lord would help you to see Jesus Christ in types and shadows in the Old Testament. Pray that you would be willing to suffer shame for the name of Christ.

Rev. Nathan Brummel is Professor of Systematic Theology and New Testament at Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary, and an associate pastor at Immanuel United Reformed Church in DeMotte, Indiana. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.

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Families are having fewer babies, and the world’s population is expected to peak and then decline later this century. The world isn’t prepared for the impact that this is going to have. However, what may be the greatest challenge of this century can also be a huge opportunity for the Church to shine…. if we embrace the blessing of children, and are prepared to raise them faithfully.

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WHEN AND WHERE?

Edmonton: April 19 at 7:30 pm at Immanuel Canadian Reformed Church

Barhead: April 20 at 7:30 pm at Emmanuel United Reformed Church

Ponoka: April 22 at 7:30 pm at Parkland Reformed Church

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