Workout for the Week: Track Your Christmas Package
Memory Verse: 2 Peter 1:21 (NIV)
“For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”
Meditation Passage: Matthew 2:1-11
Key Thought: Track God’s prophecy to fulfillment.
The big brown truck rumbles down my street before screeching to a stop on its daily trip to my house. The only thing better than Santa right now is the UPS man as I scramble to finish my shopping, okay, start my shopping. Thank goodness for Amazon Prime and a tracking system. Remember when we just had to wait? Today we track packages from the warehouse to our front door. Gotta’ love technology.
However, God had dibs on the tracking idea long ago. He called it prophecy, and Matthew’s gospel packs it in like boxes in a UPS truck.
As we track with Matthew, here are some training tips:
Use a study Bible or keep a commentary handy.
Meditate on the logistics. What had to happen for this prophecy to be fulfilled?
Mark both the OT and the NT passages so you can track the prophecy.
Let’s start tracking:
- Begin with Ruth 4:21-22 and track to Matthew 1:5, 16 to see the inclusion of the Gentiles in Jesus’ heritage.
- Begin with Isaiah 7:14 and track to Matthew 1:22-23. This passage in Isaiah is interesting because the prophecy was given as a rebuke to a disobedient King Ahaz. The prophecy likely had a double fulfillment, one in Ahaz’s time and one in the Christmas story.
- Though not specifically mentioned as prophecy by Matthew, one has to wonder how the Magi (Matthew 2) knew about an earthly Israelite king that was also divine and worthy of worship. Balaam, the guy with the talking donkey, gave a prophecy regarding such a ruler in Numbers 24:17. Years later, the prophet Daniel had great influence in Babylon and Persia where the Magi are thought to have lived.
- Begin with Micah 5:2 and track to Matthew 2:5-6 for the Bethlehem prophecy.
- Begin with Hosea 11:1 and track to Matthew 2:14-15. Meditate on what it meant for Israel to leave Egypt. How that might relate to Jesus?
- Begin with Jeremiah 31:15 and track to Matthew 2:16-18. The passage in Jeremiah refers to the Israelites and their journey into exile.
- Matthew 2:23 tags several Old Testament verses: Isaiah 9:6-7, 11:1; Jeremiah 23:5-6; 33:15-16; Zechariah 3:8; 6:12. These verses refer to a descendant of David, specifically the Branch. Nazareth and Nazarene are tied to the Hebrew word neser or branch. Jesus was the Branch man.
I hope I didn’t give you tired head this week! Marvel at the craftsmanship of God’s Word and just think about the unfulfilled prophecy ahead of us!
Nail your spiritual workouts this week and change your corner of the gym.
God had dibs on the tracking idea long ago. He called it prophecy. Click to tweet.
Matthew’s gospel packs in prophecies like boxes in a UPS truck. Click to tweet.
Meditate on the logistics. What had to happen for this prophecy to be fulfilled? Click to tweet.
Mark both the OT and the NT spots so you can track the prophecy. Click to tweet.
Think about the unfulfilled prophecy ahead of us. Click to tweet.
Marvel at the craftsmanship of God’s Word. Click to tweet.