Fulfilling the Prophets

We have been talking about the prophet’s predictions of Jesus’ coming this Advent season. Jesus told us,

(Matthew 5:17 NIV) “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

The writings of the prophet Isaiah point hundreds of years into the future to describe the coming of the Messiah. However, Isaiah describes the Messiah in a different way from how most thought he would come. Throughout the Old Testament, it was understood that the Messiah would be from the line of David. Many assumed that he would come in political power. But in Isaiah 61 we find a very different description.

Also, you might want to note that when Jesus comes to his hometown, following the beginning of his ministry, he teaches in the synagogue. He picks up the scroll and reads from Isaiah 61. He describes himself as fulfilling this Scripture. So what does Isaiah tell us about the Messiah? How is this description different from how most people thought he would come?

Let me warn you, this is a loaded text. We could spend six weeks on these first four verses. At the same time, they are worth considering together as we contemplate the coming of Christ this Advent season. Isaiah uses seven purpose statements to describe the Messiah. On Sunday, we will delve into each of these to aid our understanding of what Jesus has come to do. Let me challenge you to read Isaiah 61:1-4 as you prepare for worship this week.