God gave seven prophetic words around the birth of His Son. Seven different people either received or gave a prophecy right around that time. It was like a completion – the number seven.
Prophecy is God speaking, so what was God speaking at the time of His Son’s birth? There is one word that jumps out with each prophecy:
1) Salvation (Zacharias)
This is the prophecy given to Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist. Zacharias is praying one day for his wife, who is barren to have a child. An angel of the Lord comes to him when He’s in the temple and says that his prayers have been heard and that Elizebeth will conceive and have a child.
Luke 1:18 – And Zacharias said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.”
Luke 1:20 – “But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.”
Mary had asked the same question but believed. The angel knew Zacharias’ heart. Then the baby is born and she told people his name would be John, but they questioned Elizabeth. Zacharias comes in and asks for a writing tablet and writes, “His name is John.”
Luke 1:64 – Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, praising God.
Luke 1:67 – Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying, (Verse 68) “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people, (Verse 69) And has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David.”
(Verse 76) “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, (Verse 77 to give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins.”
Christmas represents “Salvation!” It’s God sending His Son to save us from our sins. Hoshe’a means “salvation.” Ja, Jahova means God. God saves is what Jashua means. So here is what the name Jesus actually means: “I am God, your salvation!” Jesus is salvation. So salvation is the first word of Christmas and here’s the second:
2) Favor (Mary)
Luke 1:26 – Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, (Verse 27) to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. (Verse 28) and having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord, is with you; blessed are you among women!”
(Verse 29) But when she saw him she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. (Verse 30) Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.”
What does the word favor mean? The word favor used here is actually the Greek word “Charis.” Charis is also the Greek word for “Grace.” But in this instance, it’s translated favor. However, “favor” is “grace.” God had spoke “salvation” and then He spoke “grace.” The word “favorite” means One on whom favor rests!
3) Blessed (Elizabeth)
This is the prophecy given through Elizabeth: Luke 1:39 – Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, (Verse 40) and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. (Verse 41) And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
(Verse 42) Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb! (Verse 43) “But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? (Verse 44) “For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. ( Verse 45) “Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”
What’s the Greek word for “blessed?” “Makarios,” which means “happy!” Jesus came to make us happy! Satan puts out a lie that says if we give our life to Jesus, we’ll never be happy again. Or they’ll think they won’t ever have fun again.
Happiness and being blessed and comes from Jesus. Acts 3:26 – To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities.”
4) Guidance (Joseph)
This is through the prophecies given to Joseph: Matthew 1:19 – Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. (Verse 20) But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 2:13 – Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.”
(Verse 19) But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, (Verse 20) saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.” (Verse 21) Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. (Verse 22) But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee. (Verse 23) And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”
One of the things that God was speaking when Jesus came was, He will give us guidance. He even warns us of danger and when to move. God came to bless us, give us grace and salvation, but He also came so that He could guide us every day for the benefit of our families. And Yes, God still speaks through dreams, but they didn’t have the Bible back in Joseph’s day so don’t leave His word out when searching for an answer.
5) Joy (Shepherds)
Luke 2:8 – Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. (Verse 9) And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. (Verse 10) Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.”
The word “joy” in the original language, means “the cause of” or “the reason of.” You’ve heard the old saying, “Jesus is the reason for the season,” well, He’s the cause of our joy! Without Jesus, in the season we won’t have joy. Joy doesn’t depend on our circumstances. Do you know that as a Christian, we can grieve and yet have great joy at the same time? Why? Because we don’t grieve like those who have no hope.
Can we not celebrate Christ’s birth through our circumstances at Christmas? We sure can! We can’t gage our joy on money or any other things that we lack or miss at this joyous time. We can readjust our perspective. Christmas is not about all the stuff!
6) Redemption (Anna)
Luke 2:36 – Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; (Verse 37) and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. (Verse 38) And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord and spoke to Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
The Bible says Anna had been a widow for eighty-four years. Let’s say she had gotten married at 14 years of age, which was very common back then, and her husband died when she was 21, then was at the temple eighty-four years, so Anna was at least 105 years old. Tradition tells us that Simeon was 112 years old. You are never too old to be used by God! God chose two very old people to prophesy over His Son. and Anna prophesied “redemption.”
So what does redemption mean? Think about the word “redeem.” Deem has to do with value, how much we value buying or purchasing an item. But when we put “re” in front of it, it means to purchase it again or to buy it back. It’s like the words “renew” or “restore.” Renew our minds – make our minds “new again.”
We were His in the garden, Adam sinned and made all of us lost, so Jesus came to “Repurchase” what had already been His. There is a great example of this in the book of Hosa, Chapter 1 and Chapter 3. God tells Hosa to go buy a wife who is a prostitute. So he takes the woman named Gomer and she has three children with him. After having the three children, she leaves and goes back into prostitution. Then in Chapter 3, God tells Hosa to go buy her “again.” Go redeem her even though she left of her own free-will. This is a prophetic picture of Israel that they left God for idols and He got them back – Redeemed them!
Here is what this says to us: Even when we leave; even when we make mistakes; even if we go back to the sin we came out of or just blow it big time, Jesus is there to redeem us!
7) Peace (Simeon)
This prophetic word was given through Simeon:
Luke 2:25 – And behold there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just a devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. (Verse 26) And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.
(Verse 27) So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, (Verse 28) he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said: (Verse 29) “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word;”…
God then speaks a prophetic word to Mary through Simeon: Luke 2:33 – And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him. (Verse 34) Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, ‘Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against (Verse 35) (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
Here is what he’s saying, “Jesus is coming like a fall, a stumbling stone, many are going to fall because of this by revealing the hearts through your Son. And Mary realizes what’s going to happen is going to pierce her very soul. She saw not only her Son’s side pierced but it struck her so deeply, it felt as though her own soul had been pierced.
Even though we still have difficulties during Christmas, we still can have peace if you have Jesus! He came to assure us of that Peace and it’s yours if you choose Him. Here’s what we get when we choose Him: Salvation, Favor, Blessings, Guidance, Joy, Redemption, and Peace!
The Seven Words Of Christmas!!