As the actions and bold words of Jesus began to attract attention, it is sure that many began to ask this question: could this man from Nazareth be the Messiah? I imagine that the Jewish teachers – men like Nicodemus – began to remember prophecies that foretold the coming of the Promised One and a new day for Israel…
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him – the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord – and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist. –Isaiah 11:1-5
“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: the Lord our Righteous Savior.” –Jeremiah 23:5-6
“In that day,” declares the Lord Almighty, ‘I will break the yoke off their necks and will tear off their bonds; no longer will foreigners enslave them. Instead, they will serve the Lord their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them…” –Jeremiah 30:8-9
“For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for My sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after His scattered flock when He is with them, so will I look after My sheep…I myself will tend My sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord. I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak…” –Ezekiel 34:11-12a, 15-16a
“In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and peoples will stream to it.
Many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us His ways, so that we may walk in His paths.
The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks…In that day, declares the Lord, I will gather the lame; I will assemble the exiles and those I have brought to grief. I will make the lame my remnant, those driven away a strong nation. The Lord will rule over them in Mount Zion from that day and forever. As for you, watchtower of the flock, stronghold of Daughter Zion, the former dominion will be restored to you; kingship will come to Daughter Jerusalem. – Micah 4:1-3, 6-8
As we continue to read through the Gospels, we will see how some of the Jewish community recognized Jesus as the Anointed One – the Messiah – and how others were “ever hearing but never understanding…ever seeing but never perceiving.” (from Matthew 13:14) We will look at the prophecies fulfilled in the earthly life of Christ and we will hear His own words about the fulfillment still to come…the day when we will live in His kingdom, by the light of His glory.