Apologetics

Messianic Prophecy - Messiah's Human Origins

His Human Origins (His Pedigree).
At Christmas we celebrate the Birth of the Saviour of the world. His coming to the earth was so important, it was a subject of many prophecies, for we must be sure He is the real Messiah and not an imposter (our salvation and eternal destiny depends on it!). If you were flying to a place where you were unknown, you would send ahead a detailed description of yourself, so that they would clearly recognise you. It would need to have enough detail so that only one person could possibly match. Thus God prepared the way for the Coming of Messiah by giving many TYPES and SHADOWS (pictures of Christ) through Bible-history, as well as hundreds of detailed PROPHECIES (these are the subject of this study).

In John 10:1,2 Jesus confirms that the true Shepherd is the One who enters into the sheepfold (Israel) by the prescribed Door (fulfilling all the prophecies, especially that He would arrive through a Virgin-Birth: “When the fullness of time had come God sent forth His Son, born of a WOMAN” (Galatians 4:4). After 4,000 years of preparation Jesus came and fulfilled every prophecy, so that we believe in Him! The New-Testament records how the prophecies of the Old-Testament were fulfilled through Jesus (Matthew 2:4-6, 5:17, John 5:39,40,46,47; Acts 3:18, 10:43, 13;29, 17:2,3; 1Cor 15:3,4; Rom 1:2, 1Peter 2:5,6). In fact, when Jesus rose from the dead His first concern was to teach His disciples how everything was happening in fulfilment of prophecy (Luke 24:25-27, 44-49).

(1) HE WILL BE THE SEED OF THE WOMAN: “I will put enmity between you (the serpent) and the woman and between your seed and HER SEED.
He shall bruise your head and you shall bruise His heel”
(Genesis 3:15 - ‘The Proto-Evangelium’, the first Messianic Prophecy).
This speaks of His Virgin-Birth which was necessary for Him to be born sinless, and for Him to be the seed (son) of Father-God (the God-Man). He would be unique as not having a human father. Fulfilled- Galatians 4:4

HE WILL CRUSH SATAN UNDER FOOT.
Genesis 3:15 also predicts an ongoing spiritual conflict between light and darkness, that would finally be resolved by the Messiah. He would crush satan’s head, but only after receiving the serpent’s poison (sin) into himself. Jesus bore our sin, curse and death on the cross, yet rose again to crush satan’s head under His feet, breaking his power over humanity (Fulfilled - Hebrews 2:14, 1John 3:18). Being the seed of the woman meant that He was a man, but also that God was literally His father, so that He was also Divine (the unique God-man).

This is evidently what Adam and Eve believed for in such expectation they named their first son Cain saying: “I have gotten the man: even Jehovah” (Genesis 4:1). This is the literal reading although many translations change the meaning to ‘from Jehovah’ or ‘with the help of the Lord’. Their belief in the coming God-Man Messiah was correct, although Cain, of course, did not live up to their hopes!

God then prophesied the human line of Messiah’s descent, each time narrowing down the part of the humanity through which He must come. Satan in turn attacked this line to destroy it, in order to prevent Messiah’s Coming. However it is God’s promise of the coming of the Woman’s Seed that guaranteed the future of the human race, even though it deserved destruction. Likewise the later promises to those in the line of Messiah guaranteed the preservation of their descendents. Matthew and Luke start with Christ’s genealogy in order to establish His claim to be the Messiah.

(2) THE SEED OF SHEM: "Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem” (Genesis 9:26,27; Luke 3:36).

(3) THE SEED OF ABRAHAM: “Your Seed shall possess the gate of His enemies. In your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 22:17,18; 12:3,7). Messiah must be a Hebrew. He will gain total dominion over the kingdom of satan, and bring salvation to the nations (Fulfilled in Jesus: Matt 1:1, Acts 3:25,26). “Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, "And to seeds," as of many, but as of one, "And to your Seed," who is Christ” (Gal 3:16).

(4) THE SEED OF ISAAC, not Ishmael will be the source of the blessing of salvation to the nations (Genesis 17:19, 21:12, 26:2-5, Hebews 11:18). Fulfilled in Jesus - Luke 3:23,34; Matthew 1:2.

(5) THE SEED OF JACOB, not Esau (Genesis 35:10-12, fulfilled (Luke 1:33, 3:23,34; Matthew1:2). "I see Him (the Messiah-King), but not now; I behold Him, but not near; a Star shall come out of Jacob; a Scepter shall rise out of Israel ... and destroy all the sons of tumult” (Numbers 24:17). This future world-ruler will be descended from Jacob and He will judge the enemies of God. The arrival of this glorious One will be heralded by a special star (fulfilled - Matthew 2:2).

(6) FROM THE TRIBE OF JUDAH (Micah 5:2). Jacob has 12 sons, but Messiah can only come from one of them - Judah: “The scepter (right of kingship) shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh (Messiah) comes and to Him shall be the obedience of the people” (Genesis 49:10). Literally:‘until Shiloh comes’ = ‘until he comes to whom it (the ruler’s scepter) belongs.’ This predicts the right of kingship will be transmitted from father to son within Judah, until the great Messiah-King comes who will possess the Kingship forever. This means the Messiah had to come before AD 70 when the Temple and all records were destroyed and Israel scattered to the nations. At this point the recorded and verifiable transmission of kingship was lost, along with tribal identity. It is now impossible for anyone to claim messiahship, and prove he is of Judah, let alone in the royal line. Fulfilment (Luke 3:23,33, Matthew 1:2, Hebrews 7:14). Jesus is the ‘Lion of Judah’ (Rev 5:5).

(7) The SON OF JESSE (Isaiah11;1,2). “There shall come forth a Rod (Shoot) from the stem (Stump) of Jesse (King David’s father), and a Branch (‘netzer’) shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him: the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and Might, the Spirit of Knowledge and of the Fear of the LORD. ” Fulfilled by Jesus (Luke 3:23,32, Matthew 1:6, 2:23). This is one of the most important Messianic prophecies.

The picture is of a tree that is chopped down. Isaiah had prophesied that as a judgement upon her sin, Israel and especially the royal house (seed) would be reduced to a mere stump (6:13). But now he sees a ray of hope, for out of this royal stump a fresh, fruitful NETZER will arise, who is the Messiah filled with the 7-fold Spirit of God in all wisdom and truth, who will become a Tree. Thus Messiah will be born in the Kingly line, but at a time when the Royal House has lost its outward glory and authority. However it was still alive to bring forth the One who will rule the nations. Thus Messiah, though born King, will have humble origins (see also Isaiah 53:2) at a time when Israel has been cut back and lives under a foreign power. He is called ‘the son of Jesse’ rather than the more usual ‘son of David’ because He is being compared to David (the original son of Jesse) who had humble origins, rather than David’s son, Solomon, who was born into royal splendour. Like David, He will have humble beginnings, but will rise victoriously to reign as King because of God’s anointing.

This was fulfilled in Jesus, the ‘Netzer’ or ‘Natzarene’ as recorded in Matthew 2:23: “He (Jesus) came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets (Isa 11:1), "He shall be called a Nazarene (Natzorean)." It is interesting to see the outworking of this prophecy. During the 400 years before Christ the Davidic royal family was not in power and not well-known, but they knew who they were and were identifiable through the well-kept Jewish records. In their humbled state, the title of ‘Netzer’ (‘the shoot’) for the Messiah (who would arise from them) seemed most appropriate in expressing their hopes, so their clan name became ‘the Natzoreans.’ So when they settled in an abandoned village in Galilee, they named it ‘Natzareth’ = ‘the village of the shoot.’ We know from a letter written by Julius Africanus in 200AD (preserved in the history of Eusebius) that this Jewish royal extended family (called ‘the Lord’s people’ from being related to the Saviour) had maintained their genealogical records, and had by that time spread out across the country from their villages of origin: ‘Nazara’ and ‘Cochaba.’ Thus the title of ‘Nazarene’ as applied to Jesus means more than His town of origin, but denotes His royal Davidic descent. Thus when blind Bartimaeus heard that ‘Jesus, the Natzorean’ was present, he automatically cried out: “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me” (Mark 10:47, Lk 18:37).

Isaiah 11 goes on to describe the reign over all the earth of this ‘netzer-shoot’ from humble beginnings, jumping from His first to His 2nd Coming when He will judge the world with righteousness and wisdom, destroying the wicked, ruling with justice (v3-5), establishing a kingdom of peace, even upon the animal kingdom (v6-8), filling the earth with ‘the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea’(v9). "In that day there shall be a Root (Source) of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people; for the Gentiles shall seek Him, and His resting place shall be glorious" (v10). He will also regather all Israel to her Land (v11-16).

In v10 there is a paradox, for as well as being ‘the Shoot of Jesse’ (v1), He is also ‘the Root (origin)’ from whom Jesse springs! He comes from Jesse, but Jesse also comes from Him! Thus, as well as being a man descended from Jesse with humble beginnings, He also existed as God before Jesse, for He is his Creator.

Revelation 22:16 declares Jesus to be the fulfilment of this dual prophecy in similar language: “I (Jesus) am the Root and Offspring of David” (see also Rev 5:5, Jer 23:5,6). He is both the Root (His Deity) and the Shoot (His humanity)! Jesus in Matthew 22:41-44 pointed out the same prophetic puzzle from Psa110:1 where God speaks to David’s Lord (Messiah - the son of David) in heaven. Thus Messiah must be before David but also be His son! John1:30 expresses the same paradox. The only solution is that He is the God-Man, being both the Son of David (in His humanity) and David’s Lord (in His Deity). The Son of David is also the Son of God! (1Chron 17:13). Thus the first part of the prophecy speaks of His first Coming in humility (the Sufferings) emphasising His humanity (‘the Shoot’), but the 2nd part speaks of His 2nd Coming (the Glory) emphasising His Deity (‘the Root’).

(8) THE SON of DAVID: In 1Samuel 16, all 8 sons of Jesse were presented to Samuel and God chose David, the youngest, to be the anointed one.  Then in 1Chronicles 7:10b-14 and 2Samuel 7:11-16 God made a covenant with David.  God’s Covenant to David was that through him, God would establish an everlasting house (dynasty), kingdom and throne (2 Samuel 7:11-16). This would be fulfilled through the birth of a son of David, who will reign forever, and who will also be God’s Son - the Messiah (1Chronicles 7:10b-14).

1Chronicles 7:10b-14: "I declare to you that the LORD will build a house for you (David). When your days are over and you go to be with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for me, and I will establish His throne forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. I will never take my love away from Him, as I took it away from your predecessor. I will set him over my house and my kingdom forever; His throne will be established forever."

This covenant is to be be fulfilled through the birth of an Eternal Person in the line of David, whose eternality will guarantee David’s house, kingdom and throne forever. Thus, the Messiah, is both the son of David and also the Son of God.

Psalms 72 and 89 also provide important confirmation of this Covenant and the King who will ultimately fulfil the Covenant.

"Behold, the days are coming," says the LORD, "That I will raise unto DAVID a Branch of righteousness; a KING shall reign and prosper, and execute judgement and righteousness in the earth. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell safely. Now this is His Name by which He will be called: The LORD our RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jeremiah 23:5,6). Here again, we see the Messiah as both man and God. v5 describes His humanity as the son of David (the Branch out of David) who will reign as king. Then v6 gives Him a Name that can only belong to God - He will be our SAVIOUR and SALVATION as well as our LORD.

Therefore the Messiah-King, must be a son of David. In fact one of the most common titles for the Messiah among the Jews was: ‘the son of David’ designating that he would be born from David’s line and like David be a conquering and powerful king.

David’s hometown was Bethlehem so it was to be expected that the Messiah would be born there. This was confirmed by another prophecy: “But you, BETHLEHEM Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from eternity” (Micah 5:2, fulfilled - Matthew 2:1; 2:4-8; John 7:42; Luke 2:4-7).

Isaiah 7:13,14 also predicts that this Son of David will be born of a virgin: “Then he said, “Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also? The Lord Himself will give you (the royal House of David) a (supernatural) sign: Behold THE (prophesied) VIRGIN (of Genesis 3:15) shall conceive and bear a Son and shall call His name IMMANUEL (God with us).” Here what was implicit in Genesis 3:15 is made explicit. The Messiah will be the seed of woman, being born of a virgin into the House of David (born to be a king). He is Immanuel, the Son of God who has been born as a man (the God-Man). In His human nature, He is the son of David. Fulfilled - Matthew 1:18,23-25; Luke 1:26-35.

Isaiah 9:6,7. This HUMAN CHILD (the son of David) is also GOD!: “For unto us a child is born (His Humanity), unto us a SON is given (His Deity) (Fulfilled - John 1:1,14; 3:16) and the government will be upon His shoulder, and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father (the Source of Eternal Life), Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the Throne of David and over His Kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forevermore.” (Fulfilled in Christ: Luke 1:34-35).

Clearly this God-man Messiah-King, who will sit and reign forever on the throne of David is the son of David. (v6 shows us a Being who is both fully God and fully man. Then v7 shows He is the Messiah of Israel, the son of David, who will sit as King upon David’s Throne for ever and ever in fulfilment of 1Chronicles 7:10b-14).

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was born as the son of David in fulfilment of all these prophecies (Luke 3:23,31; Matthew 1:1, 9:27, 15:22, 20:30,31; 21:9,15; 22:41-46, Mark 9:10, 10:47,48, Luke 18:38,39, Acts 13:22,23).
Revelation 22:16: “I (Jesus) am the Root and Offspring of David”
He is both the Root (His Deity) and the Shoot (His humanity)!
Revelation 5:5: “Behold (1) the Lion of the tribe of Judah (the son of David), (2) the Root (origin) of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.” The man born as the son of David is also the eternal Son of God, from Whom David sprang.

He is the God-Man, being both the Son of David (in His humanity) and David’s Lord (in His Deity). The Son of David is also the Son of God! (1Chronicles 17:13).

We have seen the PEDIGREE of the Messiah, that He must be:
(1) THE SEED OF THE WOMAN,
(2) THE SEED OF SHEM,
(3) THE SEED OF ABRAHAM,
(4) THE SEED OF ISAAC,
(5) THE SEED OF JACOB,
(6) FROM THE TRIBE OF JUDAH,
(7) The SON OF JESSE.
(8) The SON of DAVID.

Each time God narrows down the portion of the human-race through which the Messiah must be born. Taken together with all the other numerous detailed credentials that the true Messiah must have and the prophecies that He must fulfil (His birth, character, works, miracles, teachings, circumstances of His life, His sacrificial death, His resurrection after 3 days etc) there is only one man who has perfectly fulfilled the conditions and so qualifies to be the Messiah-Jesus of Nazareth. No one else has even come close. Moreover God made the conditions so exacting that it is inconceivable that anyone could fulfil them unless He were the true Messiah. In this way we have a sure way of eliminating any false contenders and recognising the true Messiah when He comes. Moreover we would know for sure that He is the Messiah. God did this so we could all know for certain that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah), the Son of God and that we would therefore put our trust in Him for our salvation and eternal life!

Home

Books

About Us

Events

Teachings

Bible Commentary

Media

Shop

Donate

Contact

Print

OBC Office

363 Banbury Road
Oxford - England - UK
OX2 7PL
Telephone: +44 (0)1865 515086
Fax: +44 (0) 8721 107068
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Print

Sunday Services

Sundays at 11am and 6pm
Cheney School Hall
Cheney Lane - Headington
Oxford - England - UK
OX3 7QH