Jehovah identifies Jesus of Nazareth as the long-promised Messiah
WOULD Jehovah help people to identify the promised Messiah? Yes. Consider what God did. It was some four centuries after the Hebrew Scriptures were completed. In a city called Nazareth, in the northern region of Galilee, a young woman named Mary received a most surprising visit. An angel named Gabriel appeared to her and told her that God was going to use his active force, his holy spirit, to cause her to give birth to a son, though she was a virgin. This son was to become the long-promised King, the one who would rule forever! This child would be God’s own Son, whose life God would transfer from the heavens to the womb of Mary.
Mary humbly accepted that awesome assignment. Her fiancé, a carpenter named Joseph, married her after God sent an angel to assure him of the cause of Mary’s pregnancy. What, though, about the prophecy saying that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem? (Micah 5:2) That small town was some 90 miles (140 km) away!
A Roman ruler decreed that a census be taken. People were required to register at their town of origin. It appears that both Joseph and Mary had roots in Bethlehem, so Joseph took his pregnant wife there. (Luke 2:3) Mary gave birth in a humble stable, laying the baby in a manger. God then sent a multitude of angels to tell a group of shepherds on a hillside that the child just born was the promised Messiah, or Christ.
Later, others too would testify that Jesus was the promised Messiah. The prophet Isaiah had foretold that a man would arise to prepare the way for the Messiah’s vital work. (Isaiah 40:3) That forerunner was John the Baptist. When he saw the man Jesus, he cried: “See, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world!” Some of John’s disciples immediately followed Jesus. One of them said: “We have found the Messiah.”
There was further testimony. When John baptized Jesus, Jehovah himself spoke from heaven. By means of holy spirit, he appointed Jesus as the Messiah and said: “This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved.” (Matthew 3:16, 17) The long-promised Messiah had arrived!
When did this happen? In the year 29 C.E., just when the 483 years foretold by Daniel finished running their course. Yes, that is part of the overwhelming evidence that Jesus is the Messiah, or Christ. What message, though, would he proclaim during his time on the earth?
GOOD NEWS FROM GOD!
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Mary’s experiences in Bethlehem strengthened her faith in Jehovah’s promises.
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In what ways did Joseph protect his family? Why did he take Mary and Jesus to Egypt?
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