Tag Archives: Advent

Prophecy, When We Least Expect It

During this advent season I’d like to use some traditional but underused themes for the Sunday’s of the season.  Traditionally the Days (and their corresponding candles) have been named for Hope, Peace, Love, and Joy.  But there is also an additional traditional name for each day and candle — Prophecy, Bethlehem, Shepherds, and Angels.  It is this other usage I intend to be following this year. We will also be linking our discussion to specific people from scripture.  And our first discussion is Prophecy and its role in our lives as taught by Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist.

Expectations are funny things aren’t they?  They totally shape how we respond to what happens in our lives.  An event can be either good or bad, life changing or ho hum depending on our expectations.  Prophecy, biblical prophecy, is all about God setting our expectations.  A baby born to peasants in a cattle stall in the middle of nowhere is not an earth changing event.   Unless you’re expecting it to be the Son of God in which case it is an earth changing event in every sense.

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Jesus as the Jewish Messiah

Matthew was apparently a pretty straight forward kind of guy, not the sort to beat around the bush or hide things in elegant language.  He tells us upfront, in the first sentence of his Gospel what he is trying to accomplish by writing.  He says,”This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham…”, and then begins the begats.

What, that wasn’t all that clear?  Sure it was.  Matthew is telling us that he intends to present Jesus as the Jewish Messiah, the fulfillment of prophecy, as the Priest/King of Israel. And to do so he starts, not as John did at the very beginning of the world, but at the very beginning of the Jewish people, with Abraham.

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