Last week, I shared how getting a clear comprehension of the twofold prophecies related to the first and second advents of Jesus are key to understanding God’s plan for the ages. (Read that post here).
Today, let’s see how Jesus himself distinguished these two advents.
We discover 2 songs or poetic writings in Luke chapter 1. The first is by Mary, the mother of Jesus and the second is by Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist. Both sections contain chronological details of the first and second advents of Christ.
In Luke 1:46-49 Mary highlights details related to the first advent. In verses 50-55 she highlights details of the second advent. Of course she did not realize at the time that there would be a gap between them.
In Luke 1:68-69 Zechariah highlights details related to the first advent. In verses 71-75 he highlights details of the second advent. Then in the final 4 verses of his song (76-79) Zechariah highlights the future (at the time) ministry of his son, John the Baptist.
Apparently, not even John the Baptist understood at the time that there would be a gap between the two advents (read Luke 3:7-9). But Jesus knew. In Luke chapter 4, Jesus went into the synagogue in Nazareth and ready from Isaiah 61. Then he told his hearers that this prophecy was fulfilled in their hearing that day.
In Luke 4:18-19 Jesus read this direct quote from Isaiah:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Then in verse 20-21 we read, “Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
What you won’t realize unless you read that passage from Isaiah is that Jesus stopped mid-sentence when he rolled up the scroll. He was quoting Isaiah 61:1-2 but skipped the final phrase, “…and the day of vengeance of our God.”
So Jesus told them that the first part (which was full of grace and proclaiming the good news to the poor, etc.) was fulfilled that very day. But, he hit the pause button on the day of vengeance—the future Day of the Lord (ie. the tribulation period).
In fact, a careful reading of the passage from Isaiah 61 highlights the 1st coming (1-2a), the 2nd coming (2b-3a), and the future millennial kingdom (3b) in chronological order.
The above is adapted from my latest book, The Chronological Guide to Bible Prophecy, in which I cover key prophetic themes in each book of the Bible.