Throughout scripture, passages and figures are anticipating the birth of Jesus. All of history waited for the birth of the King. I’ve put together just a few scriptures that connect the prophetic utterances of the coming King to the fruition of His birth. As you read through these, I pray for utter amazement at the anticipation that generations held for the birth of Christ. Let these passages remind you of the significance of the life of Jesus, the greatest gift God has ever given us.
Through Mary, Elizabeth, Joseph, the Magi, Zechariah, Simeon, the prophet Anna, let the passages from this post edify and encourage you this week. Jesus sits on the throne!
Anticipating the birth of Jesus
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
God’s promise to Mary
“In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.” (Luke 1:26-37)
Joseph obeying the Lord
I love how God confirms His word here through an angel and later through Elizabeth. Even more, it’s incredible that an angel both appeared to Mary and Joseph, ultimately releasing God’s word over them both. The stars confirmed God’s promise to distant Magi, who traveled to see the Prince of peace. God moved with complete clarity upon His people who were anticipating of the birth of Jesus.
“This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:18-21)
The visiting Magi
This Psalm and passage in the book of Matthew pair the psalmists declarations with what actually occurred–The Magi did come to visit the Messiah, bearing treasures to offer him:
“May the kings of Tarshish and of distant shores bring tribute to him. May the kings of Sheba and Seba present him gifts.” (Psalm 72:10)
“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”…On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:1-2, 2:11)
Simeon and Anna
“Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” (Luke 2:34-35)
“And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. ..And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.” (Luke 2:36, 38)
Knowing God as sons and daughters
“But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.” (Galatians 4:4-5)
I want to encourage you to get together with your family this week. Pick one of these passages to read and talk through. There is wonderful power in remembering the stories of Christ. Because they aren’t just stories–they’re his life. The man we still have access to today. God created our hearts to connect to Him, like Mary, Joseph, and the prophets mentioned above. So much so that Jesus has made for himself a home in us!
Each Christmas, my husband and I read the Christmas story aloud. As we welcome our son into his first Christmas this year, we will continue this tradition. Being sure to point out the prophetic significance of anticipating the birth of Jesus. We share the same longing that the prophets and psalmists possessed. God created us to know Him deeply as His children.
A prayer for you
As we near Christmas Day, I hope your time with the Lord is sweet and cherished. I pray for the gatherings you share with peers and colleagues. May God’s presence thicken itself over you this December, urging you to remember: He is so close.
Scripture to meditate on this season
“He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.” (1 Peter 1:20)
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.” (John 4:25-26)
“For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:3-4)