Christmas Reading Plan: Prophecies Fulfilled with Jesus' Birth

Each year, we like to encourage you to take some time to prepare your heart for Christmas and reflect on the true meaning of the season. This year, we've put together a 10-day Christmas Reading Plan that is based on the Messianic prophecies fulfilled with Jesus' birth.

Messianic prophecies are fascinating to study because it's one way that Jesus proves that He is the Messiah, the Christ. In chapter 10 of the book The Case for Christ, Lee Strobel includes the odds of one human fulfilling the prophecies, and that the probability of just 8 prophecies being fulfilled is one chance in one hundred million billion. It's calculated that if you took that number in silver dollars, they would cover the state of Texas to a depth of 2 feet. If you marked one of those coins, then had a blind folded person wander the whole state and bend down to pick up one coin, what are the odds he would choose the one that is marked? The same odds as a person fulfilling just 8 of the Messianic prophecies, and Jesus actually fulfilled hundreds* of prophecies. Coincidence? I don't think so. Jesus is the Christ? Absolutely!

In the spirit of Christmas, we are going to look at 8 prophecies that pertain to Jesus' birth. Each day we will look at a different prophecy and fulfillment, and each day there is a question or thought for further reflection based off that days verses. Since we spend the first 8 days focusing in on specific parts, the last two days, we will read the full birth story out of Matthew and Luke to see the entire story together. 

Day 1: The Christ is Coming

Prophecy: Read Isaiah 9:6, Isaiah 61:1
Fulfillment: Read Luke 4:16-20

Reflection: Reflect on the names, character, and mission of Jesus described in these verses and considering what you are currently going through in life, what is jumping out at you the most today, and why? Take time to thank Jesus for coming and being there for you in the exact way you need.  

Day 2: Virgin Birth

Prophecy: Read Isaiah 7:14
Fulfillment: Read Matthew 1:23

Reflection: A virgin birth!? If you've heard Jesus' birth story many times, it's easy to skip over that detail without giving it much thought. But stop and consider the miracle that is! Ever wonder what Isaiah felt when prophecying such a thing hundreds of years before it happened? Do you think he ever doubted or questioned that detail? And he will be called Immanuel, which means "God with Us." Throughout today, continue to thank God for being with us!

Day 3: Born in Bethlehem

Prophecy: Read Micah 5:2
Fulfillment: Read Matthew 2:4-6

Reflection: Bethlehem was considered small among the clans of Judah, according to the verse in Micah. What do you think the significance of that detail is? Thank God for not just using the high and mighty, but also for using the small and weak. For his power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Day 4: Calling Out Of Egypt

Prophecy: Read Hosea 11: 1
Fulfillment: Read Matthew 2:13-15

Reflection: God works in more ways than one. One purpose of the fulfilled prophecies is to prove that Jesus is the Messiah. But, as the prophecies were unfolding, knowing what the prophets said would have brought comfort and reassurance that was probably needed. Put yourself in Mary and Joseph's shoes—having Herod out to kill your child could have easily induced panic or made you question if this is how things were really supposed to be going. God's ways don't look like our ways, so it's easy to begin to question when things don't go the way we think it should. I don't think Mary or Joseph would have been immune to such thoughts. However, knowing the prophecy in Hosea would have brought comfort and extra reassurance that he heard God right and fleeing to Egypt is a part of the plan, even though it feels scary. Here's my point: the scriptures are there to help us. So read it, study it, know it! Thank Jesus for giving us The Holy Bible, and then make it a priority to use it. 

Day 5: Star of Bethlehem

Prophecy: Read Numbers 24:17
Fulfillment: Read Matthew 2:1-2, 9-10

Reflection: A star led the Magi to the location of Jesus. This is another miraculous event that can tend to be overlooked if you're familiar with the story. Throughout today, reflect on the ways God leads you in your life and thank him for his guidance. 

Day 6: Gifts Given

Prophecy: Read Psalms 72:10-11
Fulfillment: Read Matthew 2:11

Reflection: The wise men came to worship Jesus, and used material gifts as a way to worship and praise God and his son. How can you use material gifts as a way to worship and praise God? How can you use material gifts as a way to serve God and help others? See our Alternative Gift Giving blog.

Day 7: Sorrow Surrounds His Birth

Prophecy: Read Jeremiah 31:15
Fulfillment: Read Matthew 2:16-18

Reflection: This is yet another example of how knowing what the Old Testament said would have brought comfort to Joseph and Mary to reassure them that it was all part of God's plan. Do you regularly study God's word? If not, how can you begin to implement that more into your life?

Day 8: Jesus' Lineage

Prophecy: Read Genesis 12:3 (Abraham), Genesis 17: 21 (Isaac), Genesis 28:14 (Jacob), Genesis 49:10 (Judah), 2 Samuel 7:12–13 (David)
Fulfillment: Read Matthew 1:1-17, Luke 3:23-28

Reflection: Take some time and think about the various names listed in Jesus' genealogy. One of the main lessons we can glean from this is that no matter who you are, where you come from, or what you've done, His grace is sufficient for you. Thank him today for coming to us at Christmas and dying for us at Easter so that we can be saved through Him. 

Day 9: Matthew's Story

Birth Story in Matthew: Read Matthew 1:18-2:23

Reflection: What is your favorite part of the story and why?

Day 10: Luke's Story

Birth Story in Luke: Read Luke 1:1-2:40

Reflection: What stood out to you the most as you read?
We hope you enjoyed this short study based on some of the Messianic prophecies pertaining to Jesus' birth. Feel free to comment below on any of your reflections. We thank you for participating in our reading plan and hope that it has filled you with some fresh perspective as you enjoy this season and all that it means.
*Interested in studying more prophecies? Here is a good tool:

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