Promise of Jesus

The Promise

A brief overview this week’s topic - Promise
The theme of promise has been covered several times in past study topics. On this occasion the theme is “promise” in relation to the birth of Christ. The first hint of a promised Messiah came as early as Genesis 3:15. Isaiah spoke specifically of God with us. Daniel received visions with prophecies depicting the Messiah’s appearance and being “cut off.” We are on the other side of all of these promises and fulfilled prophecies. As we look back we see how Jesus is the fulfillment.

The Advent Journey  will be seen as a journey of hope. These promises were not just for a people from a long time ago in a far away place. Instead, the promises are for you and me. If God did it for them and then, then his promises are faithful and true for us here and now.

Read Isa 7:14; Micah 5:2; Hosea 11:1; Isaiah 42:1-4; Zech 9:9; Daniel 7:13, 14; 9:25-27

  1. God gave several promises in Isaiah 7:4
    • God himself with give a sign.
    • A virgin will conceive.
    • The virgin shall give birth.
    • The child shall be called “Immanuel.”
  2. What major events or people come from Bethlehem? Micah 5:2
    • The prophet Micah said that a future ruler shall come from Micah.
    • King David was from Bethlehem.
    • Ruth and Boaz (part of the lineage) met and married in Bethlehem.
    • Jesus was born there.
  3. How does God compare Israel to Jesus? Hosea 11:1
    • Israel is a symbol of Jesus.
    • Jesus would go through a similar experience as Israel did when they were in Egypt.
    • Egypt became a place of refuge for Jesus as it was temporarily for Israel.
    • God put a limit as to how long Jesus and Israel were to stay in Egypt.
  4. What kind of ministry would Jesus have according to Isaiah 42:1-4
    • Jesus would be marked by his servant leadership.
    • A ministry full of the Spirit.
    • He would bring justice to the nations.
    • Other.
  5. How does Zechariah 9:9 describe the Messiah having royal standing?
    • He is righteous.
    • He brings salvation.
    • He will be humble.
    • People will actually see him riding a donkey symbolizing his inauguration as king. 

The promises found in the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament) pointed forward to a future fulfillment of a liberator, freedom fighter, someone who would bring righteousness and justice. To find such a ruler, president, prime minister or any other politician, who not only talks about change, but actually enacts change, is hard to find. When you do find such a figure, many try to take him out because he’s doing too many good things.

How many times have we been promised a better future, better leaders, better servants? If we just side with the one who makes better promises we will find fulfillment and purpose. We have been around long enough to know that these promises are empty.

What if, one of these candidates actually followed through with all of their promises? It would be hard to believe, but it would be a special time in the country where this leader would govern.

We have placed too much trust into the hands of other humans to give us a sense of safety and fulfillment. We have fallen into the trap of getting our hopes up only to be let down, again and again. We may even argue and bring division among friends and family because we believe so much that one man will be better than another in the betterment of our society or country.

God had promised to prophets of old, again and again, that God would send a Messiah who would be the fulfillment of all of their hearts desires. That Jesus would be the answer to their hopes and dreams for themselves and for their land.  It’s hard to believe that many still preferred human kings over King Jesus.
  1. Compare how Jesus rose to prominence during his 3 1/2 year ministry, with other politicians and how they rose in recognition and power.
  2. How disappointed have we been when promises made become promises broken?
  3. How does God’s promise of a Messiah truly make an impact in our lives today?

Review the GROW section of this study. How would you share with an unbeliever the promise of a Ruler who we could truly trust in. Since politics is such a big part of our lives right now (whether we like it or not), maybe you can use the comparison between current national leaders and how they failed again and again, with the Servant Leadership of Jesus Christ and how we lead a nation, brought hope and did good on his promises.

Look at Isaiah 61 and Luke 4, where Jesus reads a prophecy that refers to himself. Many things in those verses say that Jesus would come and do a lot of things for the people. He would bring healing, hope and freedom to all who wanted it from him.

  1. Think of leaders who have actually fulfilled their promises made.
  2. How do these leaders compare to Jesus?
  3. How many promises does a person need to fulfill in order to be considered faithful? 

Scripture Memorization for this Week 
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed… ” — Luke 4:18

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