Matthew’s purpose in writing a biography of Christ was to prove to Jewish readers that Jesus was the Messiah promised by the Old Testament prophets. As Matthew narrates the life of Christ, he often pauses to tell the reader, “This happened to fulfill a particular prophecy.”
Look at these ten Old Testament quotes intended to persuade readers Christ met the requirements for the Messiah. For each one, identify the prophecy fulfilled in Jesus. If you can, also note why you think Matthew felt each one was important to include in order to persuade Jewish readers that Jesus was the Messiah.
Be sure to download the free PDF chart at the bottom of this post.
That It Might Be Fulfilled: Ten Citations in Matthew’s Gospel
That It Might Be Fulfilled, Citation 1
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was like this; for after his mother, Mary, was engaged to Joseph, before they came together, she was found pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Joseph, her husband, being a righteous man, and not willing to make her a public example, intended to put her away secretly. But when he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take to yourself Mary, your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She shall give birth to a son. You shall call his name Jesus, for it is he who shall save his people from their sins.”
Now all this has happened, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying,
“Behold, the virgin shall be with child,
and shall give birth to a son.
They shall call his name Immanuel”;
which is, being interpreted, “God with us.”
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin will conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
It will sweep onward into Judah. It will overflow and pass through; it will reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of its wings will fill the width of your land, Immanuel. . . . Take counsel together, and it will be brought to nothing; speak the word, and it will not stand: for God is with us.”
Isaiah 8:8, 10
That It Might Be Fulfilled, Citation 2
Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked by the wise men, was exceedingly angry, and sent out, and killed all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all the surrounding countryside, from two years old and under, according to the exact time which he had learned from the wise men. Then that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled, saying, “A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; she wouldn’t be comforted, because they are no more.”
Yahweh says: A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.
That It Might Be Fulfilled, Citation 3
In those days, John the Baptizer came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!”
For this is he who was spoken of by Isaiah the prophet, saying,
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness, make ready the way of the Lord. Make his paths straight.”
The voice of one who calls out,
“Prepare the way of Yahweh in the wilderness!
Make a level highway in the desert for our God.
That It Might Be Fulfilled, Citation 4
Now when Jesus heard that John was delivered up, he withdrew into Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, he came and lived in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying, “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, toward the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who sat in darkness saw a great light, to those who sat in the region and shadow of death, to them light has dawned.”
But there shall be no more gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time, he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali; but in the latter time he has made it glorious, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. Those who lived in the land of the shadow of death, on them the light has shined.
That It Might Be Fulfilled, Citation 5
When evening came, they brought to him many possessed with demons. He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying: “He took our infirmities, and bore our diseases.”
Surely he has borne our sickness,
and carried our suffering;
yet we considered him plagued,
struck by God, and afflicted.
That It Might Be Fulfilled, Citation 6
Jesus, perceiving that, withdrew from there. Great multitudes followed him; and he healed them all, and commanded them that they should not make him known: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying, “Behold, my servant whom I have chosen; my beloved in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my Spirit on him. He will proclaim justice to the nations. He will not strive, nor shout; neither will anyone hear his voice in the streets. He won’t break a bruised reed. He won’t quench a smoking flax, until he leads justice to victory. In his name, the nations will hope.”
“Behold, my servant, whom I uphold; my chosen, in whom my soul delights—I have put my Spirit on him. He will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout, nor raise his voice, nor cause it to be heard in the street. He won’t break a bruised reed. He won’t quench a dimly burning wick. He will faithfully bring justice. He will not fail nor be discouraged, until he has set justice in the earth, and the islands will wait for his law.”
That It Might Be Fulfilled, Citation 7
The disciples came, and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?”
He answered them, “To you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but it is not given to them. For whoever has, to him will be given, and he will have abundance, but whoever doesn’t have, from him will be taken away even that which he has. Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they don’t see, and hearing, they don’t hear, neither do they understand. In them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says, ‘By hearing you will hear, and will in no way understand; Seeing you will see, and will in no way perceive: for this people’s heart has grown callous, their ears are dull of hearing, they have closed their eyes; or else perhaps they might perceive with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their heart, and would turn again; and I would heal them.’
He said, “Go, and tell this people,
‘You hear indeed,
but don’t understand;
and you see indeed,
but don’t perceive.’
Make the heart of this people fat.
Make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes;
lest they see with their eyes,
and hear with their ears,
and understand with their heart,
and turn again, and be healed.”
That It Might Be Fulfilled, Citation 8
Jesus spoke all these things in parables to the multitudes; and without a parable, he didn’t speak to them, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophet, saying, “I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things hidden from the foundation of the world.”
I will open my mouth in a parable.
I will utter dark sayings of old,
That It Might Be Fulfilled, Citation 9
When they came near to Jerusalem, and came to Bethsphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village that is opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them, and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and immediately he will send them.”
All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophet, saying, “Tell the daughter of Zion, behold, your King comes to you, humble, and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
Behold, Yahweh has proclaimed to the end of the earth, “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your salvation comes. Behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.’”
Rejoice greatly, daughter of Zion! Shout, daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King comes to you! He is righteous, and having salvation; lowly, and riding on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
That It Might Be Fulfilled, Citation 10
He threw down the pieces of silver in the sanctuary, and departed. He went away and hanged himself. The chief priests took the pieces of silver, and said, “It’s not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is the price of blood.” They took counsel, and bought the potter’s field with them, to bury strangers in. Therefore that field was called “The Field of Blood” to this day.
Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled, saying,
“They took the thirty pieces of silver,
the price of him upon whom a price had been set,
whom some of the children of Israel priced,
and they gave them for the potter’s field,
as the Lord commanded me.”
I said to them, “If you think it best, give me my wages; and if not, keep them.” So they weighed for my wages thirty pieces of silver. Yahweh said to me, “Throw it to the potter, the handsome price that I was valued at by them!” I took the thirty pieces of silver, and threw them to the potter, in Yahweh’s house.
Jeremiah said, Yahweh’s word came to me, saying, Behold, Hanamel the son of Shallum your uncle shall come to you, saying, Buy my field that is in Anathoth; for the right of redemption is yours to buy it. So Hanamel my uncle’s son came to me in the court of the guard according to Yahweh’s word, and said to me, Please buy my field that is in Anathoth, which is in the land of Benjamin; for the right of inheritance is yours, and the redemption is yours; buy it for yourself. Then I knew that this was Yahweh’s word. I bought the field that was in Anathoth of Hanamel my uncle’s son, and weighed him the money, even seventeen shekels of silver.
Download a free PDF chart.
[button link=”http://christybower.com/bible/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/The-Gospel-of-Matthew-OT-Use-Chart.pdf” type=”icon” newwindow=”yes”] Open PDF[/button]