Sharpen Your Sword.
Topic: The Gospels
Prophecy about the birth of Jesus Christ – Matt. 1:18-25; 2:1-12; 13-18; 19-23; Lk. 1:26-38; 39-45; 46-56.
Prophecy about the Birth of John the Baptist. – Matt. 1:5-25
Today’s study which is based on the above scriptures hovers around the birth of two prominent personalities of the New Testament era, Jesus Christ and John the Baptist.
- In continuation with a trend that is beginning to emerge, only Matthew and Luke kept a record of the birth of these two personalities as Mark and John were completely silent over this aspect of the life and times of both of them.
- Whereas Matthew presented a picture of Joseph getting to know about the pregnancy of Mary and its significance, only after she became pregnant (Matt. 1:18-19), Luke informed that Mary had a foreknowledge of what was going to happen since she had been informed earlier by the angel, so it is possible that she only took a decision not to let Joseph, who she was pledged to be married to, know about her conversation with the angel – Lk. 1:26-38.
- With the notes of Matthew, one can understand the intention of Joseph to avoid embarrassing her even though he still had the plan to quietly divorce her – Matt. 1:19. It could also have been the case of Joseph not believing the story of Mary about being impregnated by the Holy Spirit, hence the need for the Holy Spirit to confirm her story – Matt. 1:29.
- What is however not in dispute is that the birth of such a personality by a virgin had long being foretold, even before the couple came into existence – Matt. 2:22-23.
- Though Matthew kept no record of any prophecy about the birth and future greatness of John the Baptist, Luke revealed that Zechariah, who was his father to be, was informed by angel Gabriel and had probably communicated same to Elizabeth, if only to support his explanation on how he became deaf and dumb (Lk. 1:11-21), but the latter probably kept it within the family as even Mary who is her relative was not aware until she got informed by the angel – Matt. 1:36.
- Reference can also be made in the scriptures to prophecy about the birth of John with some biblical scholars citing the record of the vision of the Prophet Isaiah about “ voice of one crying in the wilderness” and concluding that John the Baptist was the one being referenced – Isa. 40:3.
- Though, Matthew did not provide any information with regards to any prophecy on the birth of John, Luke did record that angel Gabriel, while delivering his message to Mary also informed her that her sister, Elizabeth was six months pregnant – Lk.1:36-37.
- Two major points are also worthy of note;
- Despite not been responsible for the confirmed pregnant state of Mary, Joseph remained guarded in his reaction, to ensure that she did not suffer public disgrace – Matt. 1:19. How would you react if you were Joseph or found yourself in such situation?
- The divine confirmation of Zechariah and Elizabeth as being upright in the sight of Jehovah could not prevent them from encountering the huge challenge of not having a child of their of until the visit of the angel. That challenge in your life may not have anything to do with sin so do not get weighed down by the negative comments of the judges of this world.
The Christian Today.
- That most of the people around whom Jehovah was performing His miracle chose to keep the information private and only shared it with the relevant people remains obvious throughout both events though the reason for keeping the information private was not stated,
The Christian today need not wait to be told of the importance of sharing some information only on the “need to know basis”. That many destinies have been messed up due to improper information management is not in argument. The one who desires succeess will definitely have to develop good skills in managing information by ensuring that only what needs to be known is shared with only those who need to know.
- There was equally no record of any family member getting upset for not being “carried along”. Many have taken offence at not been informed about events but truth be told, not being informed especially with regards to celebrating success implies that such has no role to play until success is recorded. Why get angry if the success you would have achieved is what is being celebrated. Many deep rooted disagreements could have been avoided if family members and friends accept this fact as all that should matter is for the success to be celebrated.
- The destiny of both children to be born were at stake and the responsibility was with their parents to protect that destiny by ensuring that information was made available only on “the need to know” basis.
- Recall the challenges in your life today that came about from information made available to wrong sources.
- Imagine where you will be if such information had been safely guarded away from the people who decided to use it against you.
- Ask to Jehovah for good skills in information management so as to be able to know what to say, who to say it to and when to do so.
- Plead with Jehovah to help mitigate the damage caused by the information about your life that has been made available to wrong people.
- Like Joseph, plead with Jehovah to grant you the temperament to manage your disappointments without necessarily damaging the reputation of others.
References: Judges 8:1-3. Wa