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Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled By Jesus Christ

Chapter Three

Christ, The Governor

Prophecy - Micah 5:2
Fulfillment - Matthew 2:6

The prophecy of Micah told of a Divine “ruler.” Matthew told us He would rule as a “governor.” A careful comparison of the above verses will show that they are writing about the same person, Jesus Christ.

When the wise men came in search of Jesus, they stopped at the palace of Herod the king. They wanted to know where they could find the new born king. Since Herod knew nothing of such an event, he called together his “wise men” to ask what they knew of such a special occurrence. Evidently, they knew about the prophecy of Micah but it was all academic to them. They apparently knew the prophecy but not the Person, Jesus Christ, Who had been born into this world.

As we make a comparative study between the passages cited above, we notice that there are basically two changes in wording. First of all, Micah used the word “thousands” and Matthew used the word “princes.” The changing of words makes no substantial difference, for the messages are the same. That is true because the tribes of Israel were divided into thousands and every thousand had its prince; therefore, you could identify the masses both by their numbers and their leaders.

The other change occurs when “ruler” in Micah becomes “governor” in Matthew. It was probably this fact that troubled Herod. Herod had in fact been appointed a governor in 47 B.C. and some seven years later he became the king in Palestine. Since he apparently started as a governor and was later elevated to the position of king, anyone who became a governor was perceived as a future threat to his throne.

Historically, there were some good things that could be said of the man Herod. He succeeded in bringing order to the land and keeping peace among the people under his authority. Apparently, he had at times manifest great generosity to the people, even remitting taxes to alleviate their burdens. It has been stated that during a famine, he melted golden vessels to purchase grain for his starving subjects. Like most people he had some redeeming qualities.

With all that being said, there was one thing he apparently would not tolerate; he would not allow anyone to take his throne. History tells us that he was insanely jealous of his position and killed members of his own family to protect it. That may well have been true, for when the wise men did not tell him the whereabouts of Jesus, he slaughtered thousands of boy babies two years old and under (Read Matthew 2:16). It is extremely difficult for most of us to imagine such cruelty to innocent children.

Thank God the prophecy of Micah was not about such a ruler. Instead of a ruler who would think only of himself, he told of a Divine Ruler. From our perspective in time, we understand the identity of that Ruler and know Him as Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son (John 1:14). He is in fact the “Ruler” or “Governor” prophesied in Micah and fulfilled in Matthew.

As Ruler the power of Christ is acknowledged. The Hebrew word mashal means simply - to rule. Power is necessary for someone to rule, because they must be able to enforce the laws of their domain. Jesus certainly possessed such power for He said, “. . . All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28:18). His power to rule is unequaled, for He alone has power to lay life down and take it up again (John 10:18). By His power alone, Jesus rules as the Divine Governor.

The word “governor” actually gives insight into the kind of “ruler” He would be. The word “governor” means - to lead, guide, go before. So the idea of a governor was intended to describe a ruler who not only had authority and power but also an influence upon the people. Such a ruler did not just issue orders and create laws, but he was to lead the people by showing them the way. In other words, the “Governor” was supposed to be a “Ruler” Who would lead by example, going before and showing the right way.

As Governor, Jesus rules by power and leadership. He lived the only perfect and sinless life on the earth; therefore, He is our perfect example today. When He washed the feet of His disciples He said, “For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you” (John 13:15). He continues to lead by example today. Christianity is about us following Jesus Christ. It is not just about wearing His name, it is about doing His will as we endeavor to follow Him. Isaiah said, “And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach” (Isaiah 4:1). Unfortunately, too many want to wear His name as Christians but are unwilling to follow His teachings. They insist on eating their own bread and wearing their own apparel, which means they want to do things their way, living by the standards of a sinful world; and yet, they want to use His blessed name to gain a measure of respect. Obviously, they do not recognize the principles of His ruling authority as Governor.

Some will ask, when was Christ ever a governor or when did He rule and who is this “Israel” over which He is to be Governor? The name “Israel” mentioned in both Micah and Matthew designate the realm or scope of His rule as Governor. Specifically, it pertains to spiritual Jews, made up of saved Jews and Gentiles alike. Paul said, “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God” (Romans 2:28- 29). This truth is reaffirmed in Romans 9:6-8: “Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” These scriptures are describing the children of God, the saved of all nations, the redeemed of the earth, the very elect of God. Of course, He is seated on the right hand of the Father, also ruling over the entire universe with omnipotent power (Revelation 19:16). He will continue to sovereignly reign until He has put all enemies under His feet, death included (I Corinthians 15:25-26). Even now, in a very special and wonderful way, Jesus rules over His spiritual kingdom as Governor. It is true that He did not occupy an earthly throne, nevertheless, He was the Governor Who ruled while He lived on this earth. He is ruling today, and will rule over us forever.

He is such a wonderful Governor/Ruler. He has saved us by His shed blood and sacrificial death, filling our hearts with hope. He also leads us in life and death, in time and for eternity. He died on the cross, not only to save us from our sins (I Corinthians 15:3), but to show us how to live and love as we ought. John said, “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (I John 3:16). As He lived on earth He taught both by His words and ways, showing by His actions how we should live.

He is ruling today and will continue to do so tomorrow for no power will be able to dethrone Him, ever! No matter how dark the hour, we must trust that He has a purpose and plan and that we are part of it. He has proven that He is worthy of our trust and loyal devotion. Let us commit ourselves to Him and declare our loyalty to such a royal Governor and gracious Ruler.

As we look briefly back at the passage, we see three groups that were present then and now. (1.) There was Herod and others like him, who hated Jesus and wanted Him dead. (2.) There were priests, scribes and royal advisors who knew about Him but really did not know Him. (3.) There were “wise men” who sought Him and when they found Him they worshiped the Lord of glory. They had traveled a great distance and had endangered their lives through the hardships of the journey. Like them we gather before the Lord Jesus to give the worship of our hearts and subject our lives to Him as our Saviour and Ruler/Governor today.

Thank God, He sent us a Governor, to rule over His people in every age and His name is above every name (Philippians 2:9-11). Are you willing to live by His laws and example? If we truly recognize Him as the prophesied “Ruler” and “Governor” we will gladly and willingly do so.

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This page last updated on November 1, 2015