Excitement is in the air as the Christmas season begins. Christmas has become so commercialized that I hope you spend time with your families every Sunday during Advent to teach your children about the birth of Christ. I plan to post an Advent story from the Bible every Saturday until Christmas. The final post will be on Christmas Eve. I plan on making my Advent Bible stories interesting enough for teens. With 70% of our teens leaving the church after they graduate from high school, I hope to make the Christmas story more meaningful and believable. I will use an apologetic approach and will also make sure that your children know the true Christmas story. If they have seen several Christmas pageants, they probably don’t have all the facts straight. This week we will begin with the genealogies and the Old Testament prophecies which were fulfilled when Jesus was born. I hope this approach will be more interesting to teens, because if they have gone to church their entire lives they have heard this story so many times it is uninteresting.
Click here for downloadable version: Advent Week 1
Advent Week 1
The story of the birth of Jesus Christ can be found in the gospels of Matthew and Luke. Each of these gospels has an intended purpose and audience. When we study a book of the Bible, we should always know who the intended audience was. The book of Matthew was written for the Jews, which is why it begins with the genealogy of Jesus traced back to King David. In order to fulfill Bible prophecy, Jesus had to be a descendant of King David. Luke was written to the Greeks, whose genealogy goes back to Adam, the first man. These are the only two gospels which tell of the birth of Jesus Christ. Each gospel focuses on different events of Christ’s birth. Matthew tells the story of the magi whereas you can read about the shepherds in Luke. To get the complete story of the birth of Christ, one must read both accounts.
Please take a look at the genealogies found in Matthew 1:1-16 and Luke 3:23-38 and notice that the one in Matthew begins with King David and Abraham. Since the audience of Matthew is Jewish, it would be important to show the Jews that Jesus was a descendent of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to fulfill Bible prophecy. Being a descendent of King David, would also be important to prove because this is another prophecy regarding the Messiah. Now take a look at the genealogy in the book of Luke. It is begins with Joseph, the father of Jesus, and dates all the way back to Adam. Because Luke’s audience is Greek, he decided to take the genealogy back to Adam, the first man, which would be important for showing them that God was the creator. We learned in our lessons from the book of Acts, see Word Study Wednesday – Acts 26, that when witnessing to an audience of idol worshipers, Paul would begin with God as the creator. This method is being used by Luke when writing to the Greeks. Since they would not understand how the world was created, Luke wanted to trace the human race back to the first man.
Question – Why do you think the genealogies are different in Luke and Matthew?
This is a very controversial subject among atheists. They believe that this is a contradiction in the Bible, which makes the Bible untrue. The controversy arises in Matthew 1:6 and Luke 3:31 where it appears Jesus descended from two different sons of King David. Many people believe that this means the Bible contains errors. There is a simple answer to this question: the genealogy in Matthew is of Joseph, Jesus’ step-father, and the one in Luke is of Mary. Since Jesus was born of a virgin, Luke had to prove that Mary was a descendant of King David.
Now we will take a look at 10 Bible prophecies which were fulfilled by the birth of Jesus Christ. Because Matthew had a Jewish audience, he used several prophecies from the Old Testament in his version of the birth of Christ. He wanted to prove to the Jews that Jesus was the King of the Jews.
10 Bible Prophecies fulfilled by Jesus’ birth
1. First prophecy of virgin birth and crucifixion – “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel” Gen 3:15 (NKJV)
2. Where was Messiah to be born– “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting” Micah 5:2 (NKJV).
3. Messiah to be born of a virgin – “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” Isaiah 7:14 (NKJV).
4. A Child will be born– “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” Isaiah 9:6 (NKJV).
5. Jesus will go to Egypt – “When Israel was a child, I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son” Hosea 11:1 (NKJV).
6. Jesus will descend from Isaac and Jacob – “I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near; A Star shall come out of Jacob; A Scepter shall rise out of Israel, And batter the brow of Moab, And destroy all the sons of tumult” Num 24:17 (NKJV).
7. Jesus will be from tribe of Judah – “The scepter shall not depart from Judah” Gen 49:10 (NKJV).
8. Prophecy of John the Baptist and Jesus entering temple– “‘Behold, I send My messenger, And he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, Will suddenly come to His temple, Even the Messenger of the covenant, In whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,’ Says the LORD of hosts” Mal 3:1 (NKJV).
9. Jesus descendant of King David – “Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. 6 In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” Jer 23:5-6 (NKJV).
10. Because babies were killed by Herod, there was much weeping when Jesus was born – “A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted for her children, Because they are no more” Jer 31:15 (NKJV).
Hopefully this lesson was not boring to you today. These Bible prophecies were written thousands of years before Jesus was born. When Jesus died on the cross, his last words were, “It is finished”, this meant that every prophecy had been fulfilled in the Old Testament and that salvation was made complete. He did not die until every prophecy regarding His crucifixion was fulfilled. Only God can have 100% accuracy in every prophecy foretold in the Old Testament. You can have faith that the Bible is true, just from the evidence of the fulfilled prophecies.
To view lesson to click here: Advent Week 2
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