The Life of Jesus Christ - Chapter 1 - The Birth of a *Saviour - Part 2
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An online Bible Study course by Barrie Wetherill about the life of Jesus. This book is in EasyEnglish Level B. Use the links below for other online Bible Study books and commentaries that will help you. Or go to the Word List, which explains words with a *star.
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It was difficult for people in the time of Christ to understand the *prophetsí words about the *Messiah. There were many *prophets. The meaning of their words was not always easy. Sometimes they did not seem to agree with one another. Many *prophets wrote that the *Messiah would be a great king. He would bring a time of peace. For the Jews there had been hundreds of years of battles, war and death. Enemies had made them prisoners. Enemies had destroyed their land. Of course the people wanted the *Messiah. They wanted the words of the *prophets to come true.
The *prophets spoke about the birth of a king in Bethlehem, (Micah 5:2).
He would be from the family of David (2 Samuel 5:2). He would rule everywhere and for ever (2 Samuel 7:13, 16; Isaiah 9:6, 7; Micah 2:2-5). His rule would be good and completely right. It would please God. It would be like Godís first plan for the world, or even better. (The *angel who visited Mary spoke about the *prophecy about a king, Luke 1:32, 33.)
There were other *prophecies. These said that this king would *judge. He would *judge all that is evil. John the Baptist knew these *prophecies. Many of them are about the ĎDay of the Lordí. This means the time when men will see Godís power. The king will be absolutely right and good. He will be a wise *judge. But men will have great terror because he has these qualities. (See for example, Isaiah 13:6-13). John the Baptist spoke about this.
Some *prophecies also spoke about the Lordís servant who would suffer, Isaiah 42:13-53:12. He would be a man who would be very sad.
This confused the Jews who lived in the time of Jesus. We can see their problems:
∑ How could the *Messiah be all this?
∑ How could one man be a powerful king and also a servant who is sad?
∑ How could he be a strict *judge and also bring peace for ever?
But they were sure that the *Messiah would be a king. He would chase away all enemies. And all who had taken their land. He would give them peace, and freedom to rule themselves for ever. They did not understand the *prophecies. So they did not understand what Jesus did. Christ makes all these *prophecies come true, in a wonderful way. He made some *prophecies come true when he came into the world for the first time. He will make other *prophecies come true when he comes back again.
We must mention one more *prophecy. The *Lord said that Elijah would come before the *Messiah. Someone would bring the message about him.
The Jews thought that Elijah himself would appear. This was because his death was unusual (2 Kings 2:11). But later Jesus explained this *prophecy. The *prophecy referred to John the Baptist. John came like Elijah, with the power of Elijah. This is the subject for our next section.
[Note also Deuteronomy 18:15, 18; Daniel 7:27.]
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