Thus says the LORD:
too small to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel;
whose origin is from of old,
from ancient times.
Therefore the Lord will give them up, until the time
when she who is to give birth has borne,
and the rest of his kindred shall return
to the children of Israel.
He shall stand firm and shepherd his flock
by the strength of the LORD,
in the majestic name of the LORD, his God;
and they shall remain, for now his greatness
shall reach to the ends of the earth;
he shall be peace.
Today is the last Sunday of Advent before Christmas.
How fitting it is that our reading is the passage from the the Old Testament’s “Book of Micah” — one of many passages in the Old Testament foretelling the incarnation of the Second Person of the Triune Godhead.
Those prophetic passages include the following:
- Isaiah 7:14: “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
- Jeremiah 23:5: “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.”
- Numbers 24:17: “there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.”
- Psalm 22:1: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?”
- Psalm 22:16: “they pierced my hands and my feet.”
- Psalm 22:18: “They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.”
- Wisdom 2:12, 17-20: “The wicked say: Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us; he sets himself against our doings, reproaches us for transgressions of the law and charges us with violations of our training. Let us see whether his words be true; let us find out what will happen to him. For if the just one be the son of God, God will defend him and deliver him from the hand of his foes. With revilement and torture let us put the just one to the test that we may have proof of his gentleness and try his patience. Let us condemn him to a shameful death; for according to his own words, God will take care of him.”
- Zechariah 9:9: “behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.”
- Zechariah 11:12: “So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.”
And yet so many Jews at the time and after simply refuse to believe that Jesus Christ indeed is the foretold Messiah, such is the obdurate hardness of the human heart.
May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior be with you,