Many of the events surrounding Jesus' birth were prophesied centuries earlier in the Old Testament. Try to match these Old and New Testament clues:
1. Mary, a virgin, was astounded to learn she would give birth to a son. Which OT prophet wrote that a virgin would conceive?
2. The prophet Zechariah foretold of a fountain that would cleanse our sin and impurity (13:1). In the NT, who first received the news that Jesus would cleanse us from sin?
B. John the Baptist
3. In Genesis 49, Jacob prophesied over each of his twelve sons. Which son was told he would father Israel's kings, including the Messiah?
4. God told the serpent that Eve's offspring would win the struggle against evil and "crush your head" (Genesis 3:15). Which NT Gospel traces Jesus' ancestry to Adam?
5. The angel of the Lord announced Jesus' birth to shepherds outside of Bethlehem. Which OT prophet saw the Messiah as a sacrificial lamb?
6. An angel warned Joseph to flee to Egypt with Jesus. According to Matthew, which OT prophet's words did Joseph fulfill?
7. When the Wise Men sought Jesus, the priests and teachers consulted which OT book to learn his birthplace?
8. The prophet Nathan told David that "your throne will be established forever" (2 Sam. 7:16). Which NT person first heard that Jesus' kingdom would never end?
C. John the Baptist
Answers to Build Your Bible Power
1. B. Isaiah. When enemies invaded Jerusalem, Isaiah advised King Ahaz to trust God. Lacking faith, the king refused. Isaiah then prophesied that God would provide a miraculous sign of his power: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son" (Isaiah 7:14).
2. C. Joseph. An angel told Joseph in a dream that he should take Mary for his wife because her son was from the Holy Spirit. He was to name him Jesus-the Greek form of Joshua, which means "God saves"-"because he will save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21).
3. C. Judah. Jacob promised that "The scepter will not depart from Judah … until he comes to whom it belongs" (Genesis 49:10). Reuben forfeited the firstborn's rights by defiling his father's bed (Genesis 35:22); Simeon and Levi by their violent actions (Gen. 34). Joseph received a double inheritance (Genesis 48:5-8).
4. C. Luke. He wrote this gospel for Gentiles, emphasizing that Jesus' message was for the world, tracing Jesus' ancestry to Adam, father of the human race. Matthew wrote to Jewish readers, tracing Jesus' ancestry to Abraham, father of that nation.
5. B. Isaiah. The prophet may have envisioned the OT temple sacrifices when he wrote, "he was led like a lamb to the slaughter" (53:7). In Jesus' time, the sheep used for the temple sacrifices grazed outside Bethlehem.
6. A. Hosea. During the downfall of Israel, Hosea reminded his nation of their history, beginning with their "childhood" sojourn and exodus from Egypt (11:1), paralleling the events in the Messiah's childhood.
7. A. Micah. This prophet preached a sobering message of God's judgment. The Temple would be destroyed and Israel's idolatrous king struck down. Yet God promised to send his people a righteous leader: "But you, Bethlehem … out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel … " (Micah 5:2).
8. B. Mary. When Gabriel told Mary she would have a child, he said, "The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and … his kingdom will never end" (Luke 1:33). Mary and Joseph were both descendants of King David; Jesus was David's legal heir.
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