How often have you read so called messianic prophecies from the Old testament, like Isaiah 7:14, “and the virgin will be with child,” and wondered, “these prophecies so clearly point to Jesus. How is it that Jews can’t see the obvious, that Jesus is the Messiah?”
In fact, I would submit that Christian Bibles and many Christian teachers have made these prophetic connections so clear, that one does not even need the Holy Spirit to reveal the connection between these old testament passages and how they point to Jesus. But do these oft cited passages actually say, what you’ve been taught to believe they say?
The problem often lies in depending on proof texting, rather than reading prophecies within their original context. If one reads many of theses key, so called messianic prophecies in the context of the New Testament, the author “states” that they point to Jesus. Ok, well I am not arguing that they don’t. However, if one goes back and reads passages like Isaiah 7:14, Hosea 11:1 “Out of Egypt I have called my Son”, and Isaiah 53 “the suffering servant” in it’s original context, it’s clear that some of these verses are not even considered prophetic, let alone pointing to “The Messiah.”
If Christians are to have credibility with those they are trying to reach with the gospel, it begins with humility and integrity (i.e. intellectual honesty) about what the Bible really says and what it doesn’t say. Sadly most of us have simply swallowed the teachings of men, including New Testament commentaries without searching out the scripture for our selves. How much more of a powerful witness would we be if we were more humble, more honest and most of all more knowledgeable about what the scriptures say and don’t say, what is clear and what is actually ambiguous. Can we trust that God saves and God alone? That God alone can reveal His Son to the human heart and convert the soul?
So how did the authors of the New Testament come to see certain passages from the Hebrew Scriptures as pointing to Jesus? This video by Professor Michael Heiser discusses the above prophecies, in their context and discusses a number of ways that Biblical prophecy is unclear. He also puts forth an opinion about how the authors of the New Testament came to see certain prophecies as pointing to Jesus as the Messiah.