Sample Religious Studies Paper on Matthew and the Prophesy

God works in mysterious ways. He knows the beginning and the end. In the Old Testament, He uses prophets to guide the Israelites and even prophesy doom in cases where they fall short of His commandments. He knew of the coming of the ultimate form of spiritual renaissance salvation through Christ, as uttered by prophets in the Old Testament. For instance, prophet Isaiah in chapter  7:14, talks about the birth of Jesus. He indicates that the messiah would be born of a virgin and would symbolize God’s presence on earth. He further notes that the Messiah would indeed be named Emmanuel. Such is validated by the angel that appeared to Joseph while he was still in denial concerning Mary’s pregnancy warning him against deserting his family. He is also informed in Mattew 1:21  that the child borne of Mary was the messianic savior.

Prophet Hosea in chapter 11 prophesied how Jesus would end up in Egypt as a child. He also highlights God’s undying love for Jesus as well as his greater purpose in preaching of the gospel in the same scripture. The prophecy came to pass in Mattew 2:12-15 following King Herod’s desire to seek out and kill the king born in Bethlehem. To protect young Jesus, an angel appeared to Joseph and instructed him to take Mary and the child and flee to safety in Egypt. Their decision to leave for Egypt was  influenced by King Herod’s orders in Mattew 2:16 decreeing the killing of all male children aged below two years. The merciless reaction by Herod further fullfilled Jeremiah’s prophecy of the voice heard in Ramah. In the Prophesy Jeremiah talked about Rachael crying uncontrollably because her children had been killed.

The birth place, the birth and manner of birth of Jesus was robustly prophesyed in the old Testament. It’s numerous mentioning point at the importance of not only his ushering into the world but also his ministry. Prophet Micah talks about the recognition and uplifting of Bethlehem. He notes that the least among the clans of Judah, has been recognized and would produce the everlasting King of Israel. Jesus is born in Bethlehem in fulfillment of the prophecy. Mattew 2:4-6 notes that Bethlehem would no longer the most inadequate among the tribes of Judah, for it had produced the ruler of world. Micah further noted that Jesus had his origins from old times, probably even before the old Testament hence also underscoring his immortal status.

According to Psalms 78:1-2, David talks about the coming of a messiah who would teach the gospel from the Old Testament in parables: “My people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old” (Psalm 78:1–2). Jesus used parables to conceal and or vivify messages He wanted to deliver to His congregations. The scripture further notes that His teachings in actual sense unmask and demystify Old Testament teachings: ‘I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world'” (Matthew 13:34–35). For instance Jesus used the parable of the the lost sheep to highlight the importance of each individual in the kingdom of God. He further used sheep to connote humility meekness which are requisites for inheriting the kingdom of heaven.

Isaiah’s prophecy in chapter 6:9–10 notes that the gospel teachings of Jesus would come to great contestation and would fall on deaf ears. He noted that they would hear but would never understand; would see but would never perceive. Mattew 13:13-15 further emphasizes why Jesus used parables in His teachings as well as why His teachings would fall on deaf ears. He notes that unless they use all such organs of perception and change their ways, they shall understand the teachings. For instance Jesus used the parable of the sower to highlight the manner in which his teachings would be received by different listeners. The sower broadcasted the seed on different media which represented individual human inclinations. That seed that fell on rock was eaten by birds; the seed that fell on thorns was chocked and did not grow to maturity; while the seed that fell on fertile land flourished. The coded language prophesied as well as the teachings by christ are drawn from the understanding that the message would be resisted and or would be misunderstood.

Isaiah chapter 9 further notes that the ministry and preaching of the gospel would begin in Galilee from where it would spread to other areas in Israel and to the gentiles. He notes that Jesus would honor Galilee of the sea as his initial point of teaching. He uses such adjectives as great light in reference to the power of christ over the people otherwise walking in spiritual darkness. The gospel of Mattew also fulfills such  Prophesy. Chapter 4 notes that Jesus withdrew from Nazareth to Capernaum in Galilee upon learning that John the Baptist had been imprisoned. His strategic movement to Galilee to begin the ministry of the gospel, thereby fulfilled prophet Isaiah’s prophecy.

 

Works Cited

The Holy Bible: New International Version. Zondervan, 1984.

Troxel, Ronald. Isaiah 7, 14-16 through the Eyes of the Septuagint. Ephemerides Theologicae      Lovanienses 79 (1), 1-22, 2003.