One of the best trips I’ve taken was a Holy Land tour of Israel. Although I often travel to explore historical sites, Israel tops my list for destinations that bring history to life. With Bible in hand, our tour guide walked us through the geography of the Biblical stories, highlighting subtle details in the text that became clear once physically present.
We visited many sites that were allegedly historical in which great churches were built. But there were also several sites that served as authentic pictures of First Century AD. Two sites were particularly meaningful to me—the ancient ruins of Capernaum and the synagogue in Nazareth. It was in the synagogue in Nazareth that Jesus gave the first recorded speech of his public ministry. And it was a bombshell.
First, Jesus read the prophecy from Isaiah 61:1: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor” (Luke 4:18-19). Then Jesus said, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21). Essentially, Jesus was saying that he is the miracle-working Messiah predicted by Isaiah several hundred years earlier who would perform certain miraculous healings.
The types of miracles Jesus performed, the way each miracle pointed to God’s larger story, and the fulfillment of prophecy were all important pieces of evidence that have caused me to believe that Jesus is truly the fulfillment of the prophesy.