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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: The Life and Ministry of Jesus Christ

Don Stewart :: Did Jesus Make Predictions That Have Come True after His Lifetime?

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Did Jesus Make Predictions That Have Come True after His Lifetime?

The Life and Ministry of Jesus Christ – Question 20

Jesus Christ personally fulfilled prophecies written about Him when He came to earth. In addition, He made predictions which were fulfilled in His lifetime. These facts demonstrate that Jesus was the One whom He claimed to be; God the Son.

However, there is something else about Jesus’ prophetic ministry which must be considered. He predicted things which would take place long after He left this earth. We find that these predictions were also literally fulfilled. The only way that these predictions and fulfillments can be rationally explained is that Jesus Christ did indeed know what was going to occur in the future.

We can list the following predictions which Jesus made which were fulfilled after His lifetime.

Prediction 1: His Words Would Be Everlasting

First, Jesus made an astounding prediction about His words. He said they would be everlasting. Matthew records Jesus saying,

Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will remain forever. (Matthew 24:35 NLT)

He clearly predicted that His words would be everlasting; they would remain forever.

We need to appreciate the amazing nature of this prophecy. Here was a man who lived in the first century A.D. with only a small group of followers, and His country was subject to the bondage of Rome. There were no modern means of mass communication or storage of a person’s words, Yet Jesus made the statement that His words were eternal—they will never pass away. Although it seemed improbable at the time, it has occurred exactly as He predicted. The words of Jesus are still with us today, read and believed by untold millions. It has happened just as He said.

Prediction 2: The Story of Mary of Bethany Would Be Remembered

Mary of Bethany poured oil on the body of Jesus in anticipation of His coming death. The disciples rebuked her for wasting the oil, but Jesus said she had done a good thing. He said,

You will always have the poor among you, but I will not be here with you much longer. She has poured this perfume on me to prepare my body for burial. I assure you, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be talked about in her memory. (Matthew 26:11-13 NLT)

Jesus predicted that her story would be told wherever the gospel was preached. As He predicted, the story of Mary of Bethany, and her anointing of Jesus before His death, is still told today wherever the gospel is preached. The fact that you are reading about it right now continues to fulfill Jesus’ prophecy.

Prediction 3: The Coming of the Holy Spirit

Jesus predicted the coming of the Holy Spirit. Before His death, He made the following promise to His disciples:

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. (John 14:26 NIV)

After Jesus left the world, the Holy Spirit would come down and represent Him in a special way to believers. This was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost. The Bible says,

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. (Acts 2:1-4 NRSV)

The Holy Spirit came as Jesus predicted. He gave Jesus’ disciples power to spread His Word as well as work miracles.

Prediction 4: The Destruction of the City of Jerusalem within One Generation

After the Jewish nation rejected Jesus, He pronounced judgment upon them. Jesus predicted that the city of Jerusalem would be destroyed. Forty years before it occurred, Jesus gave specifics to its destruction:

Before long your enemies will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close in on you. They will crush you to the ground, and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you have rejected the opportunity God offered you. (Luke 19:43, 44 NLT)

Jesus predicted that their enemies would build ramparts against the walls of the city of Jerusalem and crush the inhabitants.

Jesus also predicted Jerusalem would be surrounded by armies. He said,

But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. (Luke 21:20 NASB)

These events would occur in the same generation that Jesus was speaking. Matthew records Jesus predicted the following:

I assure you: This generation will certainly not pass away until all these things take place. (Matthew 24:34 HCSB)

At the time when Jesus made this prediction, there was no imminent threat to the city of Jerusalem. However, in A.D. 70, as Jesus had predicted, the city of Jerusalem was surrounded and destroyed by Titus the Roman:

The reason Jesus gave for the fall of the city was the peoples’ rejection of Him as Messiah, “because you did not know the time of your visitation” (Luke 19:44). Jesus’ words were literally fulfilled.

Prediction 5: The Temple in Jerusalem Would Be Destroyed within One Generation

Another prediction of Jesus that was literally fulfilled concerns the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. Jesus specified the manner of its destruction:

As Jesus was leaving the Temple grounds, his disciples pointed out to him the various Temple buildings. But he told them, “Do you see all these buildings? I assure you, they will be so completely demolished that not one stone will be left on top of another!” (Matthew 24:1, 2 NLT)

Jesus said that the temple would be demolished.

As was true with the city of Jerusalem, these events would occur in the same generation that Jesus was speaking. Matthew records Him saying,

I can promise you that some of the people of this generation will still be alive when all this happens. The sky and the earth won’t last forever, but my words will. (Matthew 24:34, 35 CEV)

This happened exactly as predicted. When Titus the Roman destroyed the city of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, he also destroyed the temple. Interestingly, Titus had determined that the temple was to be left standing. However, in spite of his intentions, the temple was burnt to the ground. The prediction of Jesus came true.

Prediction 6: The People Would Be Scattered

When Jesus predicted the destruction of the city of Jerusalem and the temple, He made clear the fate that awaited the Jewish people. The people will be scattered from their land and taken captive by other nations:

They will be brutally killed by the sword or sent away as captives to all the nations of the world. And Jerusalem will be conquered and trampled down by the Gentiles until the age of the Gentiles comes to an end. (Luke 21:24 NLT)

This occurred just as He had predicted. When the city and temple were destroyed, the people were scattered to the ends of the earth. Those who were not killed when the city was captured were sold into slavery.

Prediction 7: The Holy Land Would Be Ruled by Gentiles

Jesus also predicted the nation Israel would be dominated for a long period of time by the Gentile (non-Jewish) peoples:

Some of them will be killed by swords. Others will be carried off to foreign countries. Jerusalem will be overrun by foreign nations until their time comes to an end. (Luke 21:24 CEV)

The land remained under Gentile domination for two thousand years. Except for a few short years in the second century the Jews had no rule over Jerusalem until 1967. The prediction that the nation would be subject to Gentile rule has been literally fulfilled.

Prediction 8: The Jewish People Would Be Persecuted

The people would not only be scattered, Jesus also predicted that the Jewish race would be persecuted. He said,

But Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For the days are coming when they will say, ‘Fortunate indeed are the women who are childless, the wombs that have not borne a child and the breasts that have never nursed.’ People will beg the mountains to fall on them and the hills to bury them.” (Luke 23:28-30 NLT)

History records that the Jewish people have indeed gone through terrible persecution. This occurred just as Jesus predicted. From the ghettos of the Middle Ages, to the Holocaust of World War II, the Jews have been a persecuted race, like no other people in history. Jesus’ predictions have again come true.

Prediction 9: Though Persecuted, the Nation Will Survive

Though scattered and persecuted, Jesus also predicted the Jewish people would not perish. While the nation was to suffer terribly, Jesus made it clear they will still survive:

They will be brutally killed by the sword or sent away as captives to all the nations of the world. And Jerusalem will be conquered and trampled down by the Gentiles until the age of the Gentiles comes to an end. (Luke 21:24 NLT)

They would be persecuted until the times of the Gentiles would be fulfilled. Once this period of Gentile rule was over, the Jews would again have self-rule. Against all odds of history, the Jews returned to their land, became a modern state, and have Jerusalem again as their capital. Jesus’ words are again fulfilled.

Conclusion: Jesus’ Words Are to Be Believed

From these predictions of Jesus that have been miraculously fulfilled we can come to only one conclusion; Jesus Christ accurately predicted the future. Whatever He says, on any subject, should be believed. This includes His claims to be the Savior of the world, the one way to reach the one true God. Jesus proved that He had the right to make these claims.

Summary – Question 20
Did Jesus Make Predictions That Have Come True after His Lifetime?

Jesus Christ made predictions of events which would take place after He left the earth. This being the case, there is not any way, humanly speaking, that He could have anything to do with the fulfillment. The fact that each and every one of them has literally come true shows that Jesus is indeed God Himself! Indeed, for only God could predict the future which such amazing accuracy.

First, He predicted that His words would never pass away; they would last forever. This prediction has indeed come true as millions upon millions of people read His words every day.

In addition, Jesus predicted that the story of Mary of Bethany, and her anointing of Him before His death, would be told and retold. He was also correct on that prediction.

He predicted the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. This was literally fulfilled.

Jesus also said that the city of Jerusalem would be destroyed within a generation. The temple in Jerusalem would also be destroyed within one generation. Each of these predictions was literally fulfilled.

Then Jesus said that the Jewish people would be scattered. While they were scattered, Gentiles would rule the Holy Land. The Jewish people would be persecuted during this time. Again, these predictions of Jesus have been fulfilled in a literal manner.

Finally, Jesus predicted that although persecuted the nation of Israel would survive. This has miraculously come to pass.

Each of these predictions has been literally fulfilled just as Jesus predicted. Moreover, none of them have been unfulfilled. This fact demonstrates beyond any doubt that Jesus was indeed a genuine prophet of God. Thus, everything else He said must be believed as being true. This includes His claims to be the only hope of humanity, the Savior of the world.

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