Through this section of scripture, we see the closing of pre-Christ prophecy. However, it is a closing only of the Old-Testament prophets, not a complete fulfillment or even and end to new prophecy. After this, what we see with the book of Matthew is the beginning of the fulfillment of all of that prophecy. The coming of Christ is the beginning of the end of the old age and a beginning of the coming of a new age.
In the very last chapter of the Old-Testament, Malachi repeats some words he hears from God. These words are prophesying of the final triumphant coming of Lord to rule the earth. Immediately following this, in the New-Testament, we have the coming of the Lord as an infant, as a fragile, needy baby. In Malachi is a conquering King and in Matthew is a helpless babe. Buried in the Malachi passage that talks of the Lord’s return, where the day is “Burning like an oven” and the wicked fall, there is a grace and hope poured out.
Malachi 4:2 (NKJV) — 2 But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings…
A promise is given to the children of Israel. The Lord will come with healing. He will heal His people. He will heal from infirmary and He will heal all the sin of the nation. That is the specific promise. Yet, in this specific promise is a general promise to the whole earth. The Lord is coming to heal us.
The very next chapter in the Bible occurs over 400 years later, but in this chapter is the same promise. An angel comes to a man named Joseph in a dream to tell him that he should go ahead and take Mary as his wife because the child she is carrying is conceived of the Holy Spirit. The angel makes the same promise that was made to Malachi.
Matthew 1:21 (NKJV) — 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
Do you get this theme? It is a theme found throughout all scripture. The Lord saves. That is His heart and His purpose towards you. Again, the specific promise is to the nation of Israel, but the general promise is to each of us. Even later, we who aren’t of the nation of Israel, are also clearly given this promise. In Matthew 8, Jesus says something about the gentiles in contrast to the unbelievers among the Jews.
Matthew 8:11 (NKJV) — 11 And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.
Many who are not the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will be in the kingdom. It is a promise to all who believe, no matter your background. This is reiterated much in scripture.
Ephesians 3:6 (NKJV) — 6 that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel,
We are called to be fellow heirs. Back in our reading, Jesus calls each of us with some of the most graceful words I have ever heard or read.
Matthew 11:28–30 (NKJV) — 28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Come to Jesus and find rest. Come to Jesus and find peace. Come to Jesus and find everlasting life.
In His Service, Scott
This Week’s Reading Plan:
- Day 1 – Matthew 15-17
- Day 2 – Matthew 18-19
- Day 3 – Matthew 20-21
- Day 4 – Matthew 22-23
- Day 5 – Matthew 24-25
- Day 6 – Matthew 26
- Day 7 – Matthew 27-28