To Fulfill What Had Been Spoken

Tim Brown

READ : Matthew 1:18-25

All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord. (v. 22)

Four Gospel writers tell us the story of the coming of Jesus. Like a quartet singing in four-part harmony they sing the same song with slightly different notes. On each Lord’s Day of this Advent season listen with me to their song.

One feature of the first Gospel is the way that Matthew carefully records the fulfillment of prophecy. For him Jesus’ coming was a part of a plan. Today’s passage is a wonderful example, “. . . all this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet . . .”

On one level this Gospel writer justifies what we teach our children about the relationship between the Old and New Testament: “The New is in the Old contained, the Old is by the New explained.” But on an even deeper level it challenges us to read the Old Testament with eyes opened wide. I love this conviction of the great German theologian Karl Barth: “God’s faithfulness to His Church consists in Him making use of His freedom to come to us in His Word, and in reserving to Himself the freedom to do this again and again.”

Friends, Jesus Christ continues to come to us when we open the Book. Read it expectantly.


Give us a heart to seek and find you in your Word, O Lord.