10 Predictive Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus

By Sean McDowell Published on June 9, 2018

Fulfilled prophecy is one of the most powerful and common evidences for the Christian faith. There are Old Testament prophecies that foreshadow New Testament realities, such as Christ being the Passover lamb (Exodus 12:21/1 Corinthians 5:7).

And there are also predictive prophecies that point forward to the coming Messiah. Here are ten of my favorites that uniquely point to Jesus:

1. Pre-existent and Divine

Micah 5:2 predicts that the Messiah — a “ruler” — shall come forth from Bethlehem “whose goings forth are from old, from everlasting.” In other words, a future ruler would be everlasting, which means he must pre-exist. Col. 1:17 affirms that Jesus was “before all things.”

2. A Prophet

Deuteronomy 18:18 describes a future prophet whom God would speak through. This prophet was expected to perform miracles like Moses and to lead people to follow God. Jesus was a miracle-working prophet like Moses (Matt. 21:11).

3. Of the Line of Jesse and the House of David

Jesse was the father of David the king of Israel. Jewish commentators expected the Messiah to come from this genealogical line (Is. 11:1-3). The Apostle Paul affirms that Jesus descended from David (Rom. 1:1-3).

4. A Judge

The prophet Isaiah described a coming judge — the Lord — who would save Israel (Is. 33:22). The Messiah was to personally exercise judgment. And as the Apostle Paul explains, Jesus is ultimately that judge (2 Tim. 4:1).

5. King

Some leading rabbinic commentators who addressed Psalms 2:6 have claimed that it spoke first of David and then of the Messiah, both of whom were anointed king by God. Jesus was accused of being such a king, even though his kingdom was different than they expected (Matt. 27:37).

6. Special Presence of the Holy Spirit

The Messiah was expected to have a special anointing of the Holy Spirit (Is. 11:2). In his baptism in the Jordan River, the Spirit of God uniquely descends on Jesus and the Father affirms he is His “beloved Son.”

7. Preceded by Messenger

According to some leading rabbinic commentators, Isaiah 40:3 describes the Messiah — the “Lord” — who would be preceded by a messenger. The Gospel of Mark begins by citing both Malachi 3:1 and Isaiah 40:3 to indicate John the Baptist is the messenger preparing the way for the Messiah.

8. Ministry of Miracles

The prophet Isaiah predicted that when the Messiah comes, the blind shall see, the deaf shall hear, the mute shall speak, and the lame shall walk again (Is. 35:5-6). And this is exactly what Jesus did (Matt. 9:5).

9. He was to Enter the Temple

Malachi predicts that the Messiah will powerfully come to the Temple after God sends His messenger. Matthew describes how Jesus entered the Temple and overturned tables and drove out money-changers (Matt. 21:12).

10. He Was to Enter Jerusalem on a Donkey

The prophet Zechariah predicted that the Messiah would enter Jerusalem “mounted on a donkey.” And according to Luke, this is exactly what Jesus did (Luke 19:35-37).

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Admittedly, some of these predictive prophecies have greater evidential value than others. And of course, there are many objections raised against the points mentioned here, which my father and I address in the updated Evidence that Demands A Verdict.

Still, when all the predictive prophecies are considered, along with types and foreshadows in the Hebrew Scriptures, a powerful case can be made that Jesus is the expected Messiah.


Sean McDowell, Ph.D., is a professor of Christian Apologetics at Biola University, the National Spokesman for Summit Ministries, a best-selling author, popular speaker, and part-time high school teacher. Follow him on Twitter: @sean_mcdowell and his blog: SeanMcDowell.org.

Originally published at SeanMcDowell.org. Reprinted with permission.

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  • John Akridge

    If you don’t believe Jesus is the true messiah I challenge you to ask Him. He will reveal himself to you, BUT, it requires sincerity.
    Sincerity is Key!
    Please sincerely try

    • VII X

      Hi John,

      When I read Boris’s message, then yours, I can see your message opening up no pathway for Boris – or the vast majority of people with a similar educational background – to become interested in what you are saying.

      When a person is not interested in learning about God because they believe he is a fiction, they are also not
      interested in you challenging them to speak with that fictional character. It is also not possible to provide sincerity towards a fictional character.

      Your message is copy and paste religous gobilty gook to people with no religous education, to most people this or similar sentiments have been heard before many times and are meaningless, easily discarded.

      We are living in an age where everybody gets an education but nobody is educated. It’s easy to say there is no God, much harder to explain why God exists.

      If you are interested in spreading the message to more people, find a different way of speaking, of communicating in a way that grabs peoples trust and interest. Religion has become superstition, anti-education, anti-science & murderous in the consciousness of the masses, telling them to “just do religion” is not going to work.

      Best Regards

  • Thomas

    Another prophesy being fulfilled is Isaiah 49:6. Isaiah records God’s message that it is not enough for the Servant to only raise up Jacob and restore Israel. The Servant will also be a light to the nations to bring God’s salvation to the ends of the Earth. Today, for every one Jew who affirms that the words of Isaiah are from God, there are at least one hundred Gentiles from the nations who also now affirm that Isaiah and the other Jewish prophets were from God and that the Jewish Scriptures are inspired by God (which is why they are included in the Bible as the Old Testament).

    Who would have predicted that the religious writings of a small people of the middle east would be spread around the entire globe so that billions of people — who were not born from that family — would receive these writings as inspired by God? It is an extraordinary development. Yet it was anticipated within that written message itself. God promised that his Servant would bring it about and so it is happening.

  • Boris

    Each of the prophecies listed by McDowell is confirmed on no other place but the Bible. We have no independent evidence that events actually took place as described, especially the ones happening in heaven. I would not be too far off in noting that Jesus sitting at the right hand of God has not been verified scientifically. LOL. Before making the extraordinary claim that something magical happened, simple common sense tells us that we must first rule out the ordinary, far more plausible account that the events are fictional, written so as to conform to biblical prophecies. You Christians ignore the real reason prophetic literature was written in the first place.

    • Kevin Quillen

      boy are you going to be surprised when you stand before your Creator after you die. I pray God will open your eyes and that you receive Christ as your Savior.

      • Boris

        Jesus Christ never existed. Christianity only appeals to the base human emotion of cowardice. You’re more than enough proof of that. If you knew even a little about science you’d know there’s nothing to be afraid of. Go ahead let’s see you rule out the ordinary, far more plausible account that the events are fictional, written so as to conform to biblical prophecies. I just gave you proof that there are no real prophecies in the Bible. And you still believe? Christian brainwashing is very effective. Isn’t it, full armor of God guy?

  • Trilemma

    2. Jesus prophesied to the high priest that he would see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven. Jesus prophesied to the people back then that their generation would see the events of the last days and see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. If these events didn’t happen in the first century then Jesus was a false prophet.

    Any would be messiah could easily fulfill 7, 9 and 10.

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