Author: Ron Graham

Lessons About Jesus

Credentials of Jesus 1
—Testimony of the prophets

When someone expects our trust, we look for credentials. What entitles that person to our trust? What testimony is there that this person should be believed? This applies to our faith in Jesus. He has credentials. He is not without testimony that he is truly whom he claims to be. In this lesson we look at the first of seven testimonies that are among the credentials of Jesus.

1 The Prophets’ Testimony

Over the centuries, prophets had been speaking and writing about the Messiah who was to come. They foresaw many aspects of his life.

Place Names Specified

For example, the naming of places where he would be born and raised is remarkable. Bethlehem, Egypt, Nazareth, and Galilee are named in the prophets. These are the places where Jesus was born, taken for refuge, raised as a boy, and where he took the gospel.

When you think about the chances of getting these four places right by guesswork, you may well conclude that the prophets were indeed moved to speak or write by the Holy Spirit, and that Jesus is able to place this remarkable fulfillment of prophecy among his credentials of Messiahship.

Born in Bethlehem
Matthew 2:4-6, Micah 5:2
Infant in Egypt
Matthew 2:13-15, Hosea 11:1
Boyhood in Nazareth
Matthew 2:23 (oral prophecy)
Ministry in Galilee
Matthew 4:12-16, Isaiah 9:1-2

References to his death

When considering the books of prophecy, it's amazing to see the coincidence between statements in these books, and in the records of Jesus’s death: His betrayal price, the words used to taunt him, the disposal of his garment by casting lots, the offering of vinegar and gall to drink, the fact that he would be wounded by piercing but not by breaking of bones, his burial in a rich man’s tomb...

These and other details link Jesus’s death with the prophetic message of God. What a strongly forged link it is! —too strong to be “forged” in the other sense. The way in which the dying Jesus fulfilled the word of prophecy, adds much weight to his credentials.

The betrayal price
Matthew 26:14-16, Matthew 27:5-10 Zechariah 11:12-13
Given vinegar and gall
Matthew 27:34, Psalms 69:21
Lots cast for his garments
Matthew 27:35, Psalms 22:18
Taunts of mockers
Matthew 27:39-44, Psalms 22:7-8
"Forsaken" by God
Matthew 27:46, Psalms 22:1
No bones broken
John 19:31-36, Psalms 34:20
John 19:37, Zechariah 12:10, 13:6 Psalms 22:16, Luke 24:39
Burial in rich man’s tomb
Matthew 27:57-60, Isaiah 53:9

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