Did Jesus Really Fulfill All the Prophecies About God’s Messiah?
An interview with Michael Brown
Drawn from In Defense of Jesus
One objection brought up by critics who believe Jesus was not God’s Messiah is the fact that Jesus didn’t
fulfill what they consider to be the main messianic prophecies: bringing about a world of peace and unity, and ending evil, idolatry, falsehood, and hatred. “In light of that,” I said after mentioning this to Brown, “how can you say that Jesus is the Messiah?”
“Again, there are things that had to happen in a certain time frame before the second temple was destroyed,” Brown replied. “If those have not happened, then there can be no other potential candidate…. “[I]t’s not as if Yeshua did certain tactical things that had to happen and now has been absent for two thousand years. Instead, we see certain things unfolding just as expected, with his kingdom continuing to advance. Look at how many people came to worship the one true God in the twentieth century alone. This tells me the pace is accelerating. So the fulfillment of the first stage, as well as the ongoing fulfillment of those things that had to be ongoing, tells me that the final stage is clear.
“For instance, imagine that two people owe me a lot of money. One gives me a partial repayment of a hundred thousand dollars and says, ‘When I come back, I’ll give you the rest.’ The other person says that
someday he’ll repay me, but he doesn’t even give me a deposit. Who am I more likely to believe? Especially when I get ongoing letters from the first one reassuring me that the remaining money will indeed be fully
“But the term second coming isn’t found in the Hebrew scriptures,” I pointed out.
“The word trinity isn’t used anywhere in the entire Bible either, but the evidence is there supporting it,” he countered. “The prophecies require certain events to happen — like atonement and the visit to the
temple — before other events can happen, like the Messiah bringing peace to the earth. The first act precedes the second act and prepares the way for it. First atonement for sin, then peace on the earth.”
I tried another tack. “Couldn’t the idea of a second coming be used by any false Messiah who failed to fulfill all the prophecies?”
“Well, if Yeshua had done nothing to fulfill any of the prophecies and said he was going to do everything in the future, then, yes, I’d agree. But that’s not the case,” said Brown. “He did what needed to be done before AD 70, so we can have confidence he’ll do what needs to be done in the future.”
“Some say he fulfilled none of the provable prophecies,” I said. “Anyone could die, anyone could claim to have been born in Bethlehem, as Micah 5:2 foretold, and so forth.”
“One simple response: the story of his deliverance from death, according to Psalm 22, was supposed to have such an effect that people around the entire world turned to God,” Brown said. “That’s pretty provable. Rejected by your own people but being a light to the nations— that’s pretty provable. There’s the ongoing accreditation by God of who he is, through the extension of his kingdom around the world. It’s convincing enough to read the amazing accounts of Yeshua in the New Testament. It’s quite another to see how he continues, without break, to have worldwide impact.”