There are many prophecies about Jesus' birth and Jesus' death. There are also prophecies about Jesus' life, but I feel like those tend to be forgotten by the more spectacular prophecies of His birth and death.
Though the prophecies about Jesus' birth and death tend to get the most attention, there are also prophecies about Jesus' life. Today we'll look at five of them.
The first prophecy we are going to look at is an indirect prophecy. I mentioned indirect prophecies a couple weeks ago.
"When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son." Hosea 11:1 (NASB).
A casual reader would not recognize this as a prophecy but rather a statement about God bringing Israel out of Egypt in the book of Exodus.
But Matthew, one of the gospel writers, showed us otherwise.
"Now when [the magi] had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, 'Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him.' So Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt. He remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 'Out of Egypt I called My Son.'" Matthew 2:13-14 (NASB).
I realize some may disregard this as a prophecy because of its indirect nature. I believe in the inspiration of the Biblical writers and believe that Matthew was instructed by the Holy Spirit that Hosea 11:1 was indeed a prophecy.
The next prophecy I want to mention is actually a prophecy about John the Baptist, but he had a significant role in prophecy and in Jesus' life. John was "the forerunner."
"'A voice is calling, 'Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness; make smooth in the desert a highway for our God." Isaiah 40:3 (NASB).
Luke chapter 1 prophesies the birth of John. Verse 17 says, "It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of righteousness, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." (NASB).
Matthew 3:1-3 says, "Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.' For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said, 'The voice of one crying in the wilderness, 'Make ready the way of the Lord, make His paths straight!''" (NASB).
John the Baptist was born shortly before Jesus was and came into the public eye before Jesus did. He spoke out to the people, warning them that something new was coming. That Someone new was coming. And when Jesus arrived, John directed the people's attention to Him. Jesus' first followers were John's followers first.
It was also prophesied that Jesus would perform miracles.
"Then the eyes of the blind will be opened and the ears of the deaf will be unstopped. Then the lame will leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute will shout for joy." Isaiah 35:5-6a (NASB).
If you are unfamiliar with Jesus' miracles, Matthew 9:18-38 is a good place to look. Jesus healed a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years, and He raised a girl from the dead. He also healed two blind men and cast a demon out of a man. All four of the gospels are full of miracle stories if you choose to study miracles further.
Jesus often taught in parables, which is also prophesied in the Old Testament.
"I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old." Psalm 78:2 (NASB).
Matthew brought this prophecy to light in the same way he did the Hosea prophecy above.
"All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables, and He did not speak to them without a parable This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: 'I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things hidden since the foundation of the world.'" Matthew 13:3435 (NASB).
The last prophecy I want to mention was fulfilled at the triumphal entry, when Jesus entered Jerusalem not long before His crucifixion.
"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, humble, and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a donkey." Zechariah 9:9 (NASB).
You can go to Luke 19:28-44 to read about the triumphal entry and how Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey and the reaction of the people as He entered.
I am sure that I have missed other prophecies about Jesus' life and ministry. If you can think of any more, please mention them in the comments below.
Next week, we will talk about the prophecies about Jesus' death.