Prophet John and the Messiah's Birth**

In our last study, we finished our journey through the first section of the Holy Scriptures, the section that contains the Torah {Taurat}, the Psalms {Zabur} and Writings of the Prophets {Prophets}. That first section is called the First Covenant, also known as the Old Testament. Now as we go forward in our study we begin our study of the second section of the Word of God, called the New Testament, or the New Covenant {Injeel or Injil}.

Why did God separate His holy Book into two sections, a First Covenant (Old Testament) and a New Covenant (New Testament)? God had many reasons for doing this. Perhaps the first thing we need to understand is that all the words in the First Covenant were written before the Messiah was born, while the words of the New Covenant were written after the Messiah was born. Thus, the message of God's prophets in the First Covenant was: "God will send the Messiah!" But the message of the New Covenant is: "God has sent the Messiah, just as He promised through His prophets in the First Covenant!"

Is this important difference between the First Covenant and the New Covenant clear in your mind? Some people criticize the Holy Scriptures because it has an Old Testament and a New Testament. They think that New Testament means that someone has attempted to nullify and replace the original Writings of the Prophets with another book! But that is not the way it is. The New Testament, that is, the New Covenant, does not nullify or abrogate what the prophets wrote in the First Covenant--it confirms what the prophets wrote! The New Covenant shows how God fulfilled the promises and prophecies and symbols of the First Covenant. In the First Covenant, all the prophets were announcing: "The Messiah will come! He will come! He will come!" But the message of the book of the New Covenant is: "The Messiah has come! The Messiah, of whom all the prophets spoke and wrote, has come! He has come!"

Yes, we should thank God with a joyful heart that the Holy Scriptures contain a First Covenant and a New Covenant. Because in those two sections, we can see that what God promised so long ago--He has accomplished! God has sent us a Savior, just as He promised our ancestors in the Torah, the Psalms and the other books of the prophets. The name "Injeel." is an Arabic word which means the Good News {the Gospel}.  Truly, the message of the book of the Gospel is extremely good news, because it tells how the Messiah accomplished (fulfilled) what the prophets announced (prophesied), thus opening for the children of Adam a door of peace with God forever!

Concerning the Book of the Gospel {Injeel}, you need to understand that the Messiah Himself did not write it. Just as God used many men to write the book of the First Covenant, so He used a total of eight men to write the book of the New Covenant. God used four men to write the story of the Messiah who came to earth. Those four men were named Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Why did God inspire four people to write the story of the Messiah? Why did He not just use one person to write the story of the Messiah? Here is the reason: God wanted to communicate to us a message which would be beyond doubt and worthy of full confidence. He used four writers in order to confirm His word.  Just as a table with four legs is more stable than a table with one leg, so four witnesses are more reliable than a single witness.  God employed four witnesses, so that we might know that everything written about the story of the Messiah is absolutely true! Just as God placed His words in the minds of the prophets, so God guided four men who lived in the same era as the Messiah to write what they had seen and heard concerning the Savior of the world.  In addition, God inspired four additional men to write about rest of teaching of the Messiah.

Do you know the original language of the holy book of the Gospel?  It is the Greek language.  However, we will be studying  it in English since most of us do not understand Greek! We thank God that He put it into the hearts of scholars to translate the Gospel from Greek into English as well as some two thousand other languages from around the world.  Yes, sometimes we hear those who try to fight against the book of the Gospel, saying "No one can trust it. It has been tampered with! It contains errors and contradictions!" Friends, the one who fights with the holy Gospel is fighting with God Himself. "   The Holy Scriptures are worthy of our full confidence and obedience. Just as the Word of God is perfect in the Torah, the Psalms, and the Prophets, so it is also perfect in the Gospel. The Holy Scriptures cannot be broken. God is great and is able to protect His Eternal Word! He has preserved His Truth for all those who seek after it with all their heart. No one can actually alter the living and enduring Word of God! That is what the Lord Himself declares in the Gospel when He says: "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away!" (Injeel - Matt 24:35)

In our last study, we read about the prophet Malachi who lived four hundred years before the Messiah. During those four hundred years following the time of Malachi, God did not send to the Jews any more prophets to write the Word of God. Why did God not send any more prophets? He sent no more prophets because the book of the First Covenant was complete. God had said everything He wanted to say through the prophets. Now God was waiting for the appointed hour when He would bring the Messiah into the world so that He might establish the New Covenant.

We have already read what the prophets Isaiah and Malachi foretold concerning God's plan to send a prophet before the Messiah to prepare the way before Him. Do you know which prophet that was? Yes, it was the prophet John {his Quranic name is Yahya}. John's father was Zechariah {Arabic: Zakaria}. Zechariah was a priest (different than Prophet Zechariah we studied about earlier) who served God and the people by offering animal sacrifices on the altar of the temple in Jerusalem.

Let us now read from the holy Gospel concerning the prophet John's birth. Reading in chapter one of Luke, the Scripture says:

(Injeel - Luke 1) 5In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. 6Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly. 7But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren; and they were both well on in years.

8Once when Zechariah's division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God.… 10And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside. 11Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13But the angel said to him: "Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. 14He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth. 16Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. 17And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." 18Zechariah asked the angel, "How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well on in years." 19The angel answered, "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time."

21Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple. 22When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak. 23When his time of service was completed, he returned home. 24After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant… 25"The Lord has done this for me," she said. "In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people."

We see how God sent the angel Gabriel to Zechariah to announce to him how Elizabeth his wife would have a son. This son would become a great prophet who would prepare the way before the Messiah. Thus in the end of the chapter, the Scripture says:

(Injeel - Luke 1) 57When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. 58Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy. 59On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, 60but his mother spoke up and said, "No! He is to be called John." 61They said to her, "There is no one among your relatives who has that name." 62Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. 63He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone's astonishment he wrote, "His name is John." 64Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue was loosed, and he began to speak, praising God. 65The neighbors were all filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. 66Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, "What then is this child going to be?" For the Lord's hand was with him.

67His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied: 68"Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people. 69He has raised up a horn of salvation { a mighty Savior} for us in the house of his servant David 70as he said through his holy prophets of long ago, 71salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us- 72to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant, 73the oath he swore to our father Abraham: 74to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear 75in holiness and righteousness before him all our days."

After Zechariah had said this, he turned toward John, the baby, and said, 76"And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, 77to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, 78because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven 79to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace."

Thus did Zechariah praise God following the birth of John because he knew that the time for the Messiah to be born had arrived! John, the son of Zechariah, was not the Messiah, but the one who would come before the Messiah, in order to announce the Messiah's arrival and prepare the way before Him.

As we continue in our study in the Gospel, it would be good for us to remember why God planned to send a Savior to the descendants of Adam. Do you remember from a previous study about what happened the day that Adam and Eve disobeyed God? In the Torah, we saw how Adam's disobedience led the whole human race away from the kingdom of God and into the kingdom of Satan. Adam's sin is the reason every one of us is born in crookedness. Just as "a seed does not fall far from the tree", in the same way Adam and his offspring can only beget children that sin! Sinners produce sinners. Our sin condemns us so that we have no possible way of making ourselves right before the One who must judge us!

However, we praise God that the Scriptures of the Prophets do not conclude with the story of Adam's transgression! As we have already seen, on the very day that Adam and Eve sinned, God began to make known His wonderful plan to send a Redeemer into the world who could deliver the descendants of Adam from the dominion of Satan and sin. On that dark day when sin entered world, God announced that this holy Redeemer would be born exclusively of "a woman." (Taurat - Gen. 3:15; Injeel - Gal. 4:4) The Messiah, who was to shed His blood as the Perfect Sacrifice for sinners, could not descend from an earthly father tainted with sin. He had to be perfect and holy even as God is perfect and holy. That is why the prophet Isaiah (who lived seven hundred years before the Messiah came) wrote: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel-which means 'God with us'!" (Prophets - Isa. 7:14; Injeel - Matt 1:23)

Note how God sent His angel to a virgin by the name of Mary. The Scripture says:

(Injeel - Luke 1) 26[When Elizabeth, the mother of John, was] in her sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you." 29Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end." 34"How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?" 35The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. 37For nothing is impossible with God." 38"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.

Let's stop here and discuss what happened when God's angel, Gabriel, appeared to Mary. Mary was a young woman who esteemed the Word of God. She was promised in marriage to a man named Joseph, but they were not yet living together. Both Joseph and Mary were descendants of King David. You will remember that God's prophets not only prophesied that the Messiah would be born of a virgin, but also that He would belong to the family line of King David.

So that no one misunderstands, there is something else which you should know about Mary. It is this: Mary was a descendant of Adam. Like us all, she was born with a sinful nature. It is necessary that we say this, because many elevate Mary to the place of God and worship her and pray to her. To do so is idolatry! Certainly, Mary is worthy of honor since she was the woman through whom God chose to bring the Messiah into the world. But this favor that God bestowed upon her does not make her worthy of worship, because the Scripture says: "Worship the Lord your God and serve him only!" (Injeel - Matt. 4:10)

Now then, in the verses we just read, we see how Gabriel visited Mary to inform her that she was the virgin through whom God intended to bring the Savior of sinners into the world. Gabriel also told Mary the name of the Child that she was to bear. He said to her, "You are to give him the name Jesus." The name Jesus means the Lord saves However, there was another name by which Gabriel referred to the Messiah. Did you read it? He called Him "the Son of the Most High." Like it or not, that is what Gabriel said. We have already read in the Psalms of David that God called the Messiah His Son. Now we hear how God's angel Gabriel also calls the Messiah "the Son of God."

Friends, we know that many who hear the name "Son of God," reply, "That's impossible! Astaghferullah! {which implies: May God forgive you for uttering such blasphemy!} But before you despise the name "Son of God," you should make an effort to find out what the term Son of God means! In the Holy Scriptures, the Messiah is called God's Son more than one hundred and twenty times. Thus, we who believe the writings of the Prophets do not dare deny that God calls the Messiah His Son. What we want to know is why God calls Jesus His Son.

First, we need to know what the name Son of God does not mean. It does not mean that God took a wife and had a son! Anyone who thinks such thoughts is blaspheming God! God is the Highest One and does not produce children as a man produces them. Never! That must be perfectly clear in our minds. You must understand is that the name does not mean that God took a wife and bore a son by her! This should not be difficult to understand, because even the Quran calls a traveler a “Son of the Road”.  Obviously it cannot be that the road took a wife and had a son.  That would be foolish.  That is how it is with Jesus the Messiah. God calls Him His Son because He came forth from God, not that God took a wife. The Messiah came from heaven. Before He was born He was with God; He was in God. He is the "Ruh Allah"; the Spirit of God.. The Messiah is also called the "Kalimat"; the Word which was with God in the beginning.  That is what the Scriptures declare when they say:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us." (Injeel - John 1:1-3,14)

Yes, the Messiah is the Word of God which came from heaven, and was born as a man. We all know that the Messiah had no earthly father. Well now, if He did not have an earthly father, then where did He come from? Whose Son is He? Listen again to what Gabriel told Mary. He said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. [That is why] the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God." (Injeel - Luke 1:35)

Perhaps you have heard some say, "Oh yes, we know that Jesus had no earthly father, but Jesus' birth of a virgin isn't so important. God merely wanted to show His power. God created Adam without father or mother. Next, He created Eve with only a father, that is, He formed her from the rib He took from Adam. Then to display His power further, God created a man using only a woman. That is the only reason Jesus was born without an earthly father."

Dear friends, it is true that God is the Almighty One and nothing is impossible for Him! But concerning Jesus' birth of a virgin, you must know that the reason for it was infinitely more important than merely to display God's power! Do not let anyone deceive you! There is a very, very important reason Jesus was born of a virgin thousands of years after God created Adam and Eve! Do you know the reason? The Holy Scripture tell us the reason, when it says: "[Jesus the Messiah] came into the world to save sinners." (Injeel - 1 Tim. 1:15) Jesus was born into the world to redeem the lost, sinful, contaminated, condemned descendants of Adam--therefore He could not originate from a man tainted with sin! As we have already seen, according to God's plan, the Messiah had to shed His blood as a sacrifice to pay for sin. To be the Perfect Sacrifice, the Redeemer had to be without a single sin or fault, like the healthy, innocent sheep sacrificed every year at the Feast of Sacrifice {Id al-Adha}.

Think about it! Can a person with a great debt pay the debts of others? No! Only the one who has no debt is qualified to pay the debts of others. Similarly, the Messiah had to be a man who had no debt of sin, so that He might pay the debt of sin for the children of Adam. God wants us to know that the Messiah and the children of Adam are very different. We are sons of Adam, but Jesus is the Son of God! We, as children of Adam, are like the dirty earth because of our sin. However, Jesus is like the rain that comes from heaven. He is pure and holy, just as God is pure and holy. That is why God is not ashamed to call Him His Son! And so friends, we hope your minds are clearer and that you understand why Jesus the Messiah had to be born of a virgin and what the name "Son of God" means and does not mean.

Several months after Mary became pregnant by the power of the Spirit of God, God sent His angel to Joseph, who was to become Mary's husband. The Scripture says:

(Injeel - Matt. 1) 18This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." 22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" which means, 'God with us.' 24When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

During this time, the emperor {king} of Rome, Caesar Augustus, was ruling over many countries including the land of the Jews. However, the Roman Empire {kingdom} would not hinder God's plan to send the Redeemer into the world. In fact, God planned to use the Romans to fulfill the words of the prophets.   Do you recall the words of the prophet Micah who came seven hundred years before the Messiah? Micah announced that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, the hometown of King David. However, Mary, who would give birth to Jesus, did not live in Bethlehem, but in Nazareth, a city found approximately one hundred and fifty kilometers north of Bethlehem. How then would the Messiah be born in Bethlehem?

As you know, nothing is too hard for the Lord God! He is God, and has the final word concerning everything that takes place on earth. He knows everything that is going to happen.  As the time for Mary to give birth drew near, the great emperor of Rome issued a decree, saying: "Let every man and woman go to the city of his ancestors to register there and pay a tax!" This meant that both Mary and Joseph would have to go to Bethlehem, to the city of King David, because they belonged to the descendants of David. Now let us read how Jesus the Messiah was born in Bethlehem, exactly as God had promised long before.  The Scripture says:

(Injeel - Luke 2) 1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world… 3And everyone went to his own town to register. 4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger {animal stable}, because there was no room for them in the inn.

We must pause here. Did you notice the circumstances in which the Messiah was born? The Messiah was born in very lowly circumstances. He was born in an animal stable, because the inn in Bethlehem was full. The One who was to be the Savior and the Judge of the world was born in a smelly stable! Perhaps some are thinking: "This is incredible! If Jesus is the Savior of the world and the Lord of glory who will judge all the children of Adam, why was He not born in a palace, with great glory, so that everyone might know that He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords?"

Friends, we must remember: God's thoughts are different from man's thoughts, and the glory of God is different from the glory of the world. Surely, the birth of Jesus was accompanied by great glory, but most of the children of Adam did not recognize it, because God's glory and the world's glory are so different.  To illustrate, perhaps you have seen rich people who live in large and beautiful houses, wearing expensive clothes and living a life of luxury with servants attending to their every desire. That is the glory of the world. However, God's glory is different from the world's glory. That is why the Messiah, who came from the presence of God, was not born in comfort and luxury. He was not like many rich people who do not understand the misery and hardships of the poor. No. The One whom God sent to rescue the children of Adam from the power of Satan and sin was born in lowly circumstances, even in a stable! Thus, no one can say that the Messiah came only to save the wealthy, or that He doesn't understand the feelings of the poor. God wants everyone to know that the Redeemer whom He sent came into the world to deliver everyone who believes in Him-old and young, men and women, rich and poor. Thus the Scripture says: "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich!" (Injeel - 2 Cor. 8:9)  The Messiah is the only one who ever chose to be born. And He chose to be born as a poor man!

On the night that Jesus was born in a stable, God sent His angels to some shepherds who were watching their flocks in the fields surrounding Bethlehem. Read how God made known to them the good news about the birth of the Messiah.  The Scripture says:

(Injeel - Luke 2) 8And there were shepherds living out in the fields near by, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ, the Lord! {Christ is the Greek form of the Hebrew word Messiah, meaning the Anointed One} 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." 13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests!"

15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." 16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them… 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. Amen.

To whom did God first make known the good news about the birth of the Messiah? Did He give the good news to the Roman emperor, the wealthy, or the religious leaders? No. God first announced the news of the Messiah's birth to humble shepherds who were waiting for Him to come! How thrilled the shepherds were to see the baby Jesus! What an awesome privilege! They had seen the One about whom all the prophets wrote: the Messiah, the Savior of the world, the Eternal Word of God wrapped in the tiny body of a baby!

Continuing in the Gospel, we read what happened about one year after Jesus was born. We have just read how God announced the birth of Jesus to some shepards by His angels which appeared in the sky. Now we are going to hear how God announced the Messiah's birth to some Magi {or wisemen } by a large and beautiful star which appeared in the sky. Read what is written in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter two.  The Scripture says:

(Injeel - Matt. 2) 1After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him." 3When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. 5"In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written: 6'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'" 7Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him." (However, in his heart, King Herod planned to kill the child, for he did not want anyone to be king, except himself!)

9After [the Magi] had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. 12And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

That, in brief, is the story of the birth of the Messiah. What can we say about all we have read in our study? One thing we can say with certainty is that the birth of Jesus, the Messiah, is unequaled in the history of the world! Among all the prophets and kings and peoples of the world, never has another been born as Jesus was born!

We have read today that the Messiah was born of a virgin, by the power of God, exactly as God's prophets had prophesied. We have also read that Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem, just as the prophet Micah had announced some seven hundred years earlier. We also saw how God sent His angel and a glorious radiance from heaven to some shepherds to make the good news known to them, saying: "I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ, the Lord!" Then we read how a multitude of angels appeared with the first angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests!" We also read that God placed a great star in the sky to announce to some wisemen who lived in a far away land, that the Messiah, the King of kings, the Savior of sinners had been born!

Friends, what then shall we say about all of this? We can say this: No man has ever been born like this Man. Jesus' birth is unique. Concerning His birth, Jesus is incomparable! We cannot compare Him with others. Jesus was more than a prophet. He is the One of whom all the prophets spoke. He is the Messiah from heaven!

Friends, if Jesus were simply a prophet among many prophets, then why did all of God's prophets announce His coming before He was born? Why did the angels come down from heaven to celebrate His birth? If Jesus were merely a prophet among many prophets, then why did God place a great star in the sky to proclaim His birth? And for what reason was He born of a virgin? May you carefully consider these important questions and the following scriptures.

"Praise be to the Lord!…He has raised up [a mighty Savior] for us in the house of His servant David, as he said through his holy prophets of long ago!" (Injeel - Luke 1:68-70)

"You are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins!" (Injeel - Matt. 1:21)

"Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people! Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord!" (Injeel - Luke 2:10,11)


** This concludes our study on Prophet John and the Messiah's Birth from the Holy Scriptures.   This teaching from the Scriptures is a compilation of Lessons 60, 61 and 62 from “The Way of Righteousness” by Paul Bramsen.    Posted here by permission of copyright holder – Paul Bramsen.