“All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet
– Matthew 1:22”
That a virgin would bring forth a son is astounding; that Jesus will certainly save his people is reassuring; that God would condescend to be with us is humbling. But there is another point that Matthew purposefully interjects into the inspired account of Jesus’ birth, and it is this: “all this was done, that it might be fulfilled.”
When you think of Biblical prophecy, do you think of God describing events that will later come to pass, or of God declaring that events will later come to pass? In other words, is prophecy simply God “looking down through the tunnel of time,” seeing what is going to happen, and reporting what he sees? Or is prophecy the declaration of God, based upon his almighty power and wisdom, of what he has foreordained to happen?
If we speculated that prophecy is merely description based on foresight, then we would expect Matthew to say something like this: “so God had spoken all these things by the prophet because they were going to happen later.” But Matthew actually says the opposite! “All this was done, that it might be fulfilled…” All these things happened, Matthew says, because God said they were going to happen!
From Matthew’s careful wording in this story, we learn that God’s word is more certain, more secure, more immovable than any event on earth. Reality itself must conform to the perfect purpose and plan of God. And this choice of words by Matthew is no mistake or anomaly. Matthew uses the exact same phrase — “that it might be fulfilled” — no less than ten times throughout his gospel!
Clearly, Matthew intends for us to see God’s omnipotence shaping reality with his Word. Is that the way you view the world around you today?