In my last Post I dealt with the humanity of Jesus. The flip-side of this coin is the question about his Divinity. Was Jesus God? Often, this controversy is argued only from the pages of the New Testament. But what about Old Testament prophecies? Long before Jesus came into this world, the prophet Isaiah (again!) had
some remarkable things to say about this. Embedded in the same prophecy of the Virgin birth is this remarkable statement.
Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. 15 He will be eating curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right (Isaiah 7:13-15)
‘Immanuel’ literally means ‘God with us’. In other words, when this son of the virgin would be born, God would be with us. There is hardly a more succinct way to predict the Incarnation – God becoming Man, than with such a title. And just to make sure we did not misunderstand, two chapters later Isaiah explicitly predicts:
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
Jewish Predictions in the Old Testament of the Divine Son
And so here in these short, but explicitly prophetic sentences, penned by Isaiah hundreds of years before Jesus was born, in Jewish scriptures (i.e. not from the hand of anything Christian), we see that there are three distinct features to this prophecy:
- the virgin birth,
- the sinless/moral life,
- as well as the incarnation of God becoming man in the birth of a son. The son would be Divine.
We have already seen how the predicted ‘Christ’ of the Old Testament Psalms would also be the ‘son of God’. It is the cumulative effect of many different predictions, on different themes, yet all still converging on the person of Jesus of Nazareth that beggars naturalistic explanations.
One of Us by Joan Osborne
One of the most poignant songs dealing with this question of God becoming one of us was written a few years ago by Joan Osborne. What I find so intriguing is the song is not written from a posture of belief, but from one of asking some honest and human questions. At same dinner where I was exposed as a Santa fraud, I had asked a friend, Chelsea, to sing this song. The lyrics, with those haunting questions, are displayed along with the opening prologue from the Gospel of John. This Gospel deals with questions that are basic to all of us, giving answers that hearken to the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy of this very unique Coming Son..