January 16: “Jesus in the Old Testament”


Genesis 32:13–34:31
Matthew 11:7-30
Psalm 14:1-7
Proverbs 3:19-20


Genesis 32:24 (CSB) “Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak.”


Christians believe Jesus did not come into existence in Bethlehem. We believe that Jesus has always existed as part of the Trinity as is evidenced by the fact (among many other things) that He was in existence and participated in the work of Creation (see Genesis 1:1, 26; John 1:1-3, 14; Colossians 1:13-20; etc.).

But while Christians believe that Jesus has always existed, many Christians believe that Jesus was completely silent and uninvolved during the Old Testament period. It would seem that they believe that history has been a race and the baton was passed from God the Father to God the Son just before Bethlehem.

Nothing could be further from the truth. All three persons of the Trinity have been actively involved in every era of earth’s history.

Just listen to what Dr. Luke recorded Jesus as saying on the day that He rose from the dead and met up with some discouraged disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35):

Luke 24:25-27 (CSB) “He (Jesus) said to them, ‘How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Wasn’t it necessary for the Messiah to suffer these things and enter into his glory?’ Then beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted for them the things concerning himself in all the Scriptures.”

“Moses and the Prophets” was a designation given to the Old Testament. Further, every single time the word “Scripture” is used in the New Testament, it is always referring to the Old Testament. (But, “Scripture” came to include the New Testament as well as Peter signified in his realization that Paul was writing Scripture [2 Peter 3:15-16].).

So when we get back to our Verse for Today, we see that Jacob was wrestling with “a man.” The obvious question is: “Who was that man?”

When we read a little further into this narrative, we come to understand that Jacob knew exactly who he was wrestling with.

Genesis 32:30 (CSB) “Jacob then named the place Peniel, ‘For I have seen God face to face,’ he said, ‘yet my life has been spared.’ “

Jacob realized that he had been wrestling with God! But it was God who had shown up as a man.

Friend, if we’re talking about God who shows up as a man, we’re talking about Jesus! Jacob was wrestling with Jesus! If you want to read what I believed to be significant about the fact that Jesus allowed Jacob to wrestle with him, you can access a post I wrote in January 2014 by clicking here.

Maybe you’ve already noticed it as you have been reading through Genesis this year but Jesus has shown up quite a few times already! If you want to read further on this, I wrote a blog post last year that went into greater depth regarding the times that Jesus showed up in the book of Genesis. You can access it by clicking here.

The point is that as you are reading through your Bible this year, look for Jesus. Whether you are in the New Testament or the Old Testament, look for Him. Hear Him cry out on the cross in Psalm 22:1. Look at Him bear our sins in Isaiah 53. He’s all over the place!

So, look for Him and enjoy the journey of getting to know Him more.

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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