After the death of Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi, the last Old Testament prophets to write scripture, there were no more recognized prophets in Israel for about 400 years. The light of prophetic revelation had gone dim in Israel.
But then as we begin to read the New Testament we are confronted with a surge of prophetic revelation and supernatural events proclaiming that the Messiah foretold by the ancient prophets in Israel is now coming into the world.
An elderly priest named Zacharias is visited in a vision by an angel who declared to him that he and his wife would be having a son in their old age and that his name would be John. He would have a ministry like the ancient prophet Elijah (Luke 1:11-17). Immediately after John's birth the old priest is filled with the Holy Spirit and begins to prophesy declaring that his newborn son would prepare the way for the Savior (Luke 1:67-79). His wife Elizabeth also prophesies when visited by her expectant relative, Mary, who gives birth to Jesus. Both Mary and Joseph, her husband to be, experienced angelic visitations announcing the miraculous conception of their firstborn son, Jesus.
After the birth of Jesus, angels declare the details of Christ’s birth to simple shepherds in the countryside near Bethlehem. The shepherds go to see the Child for themselves, and then they announce boldly the things that had been revealed to them (Luke 2:8-20).
When Joseph and Mary present the newborn Jesus to the Lord at the temple in Jerusalem, an elderly man named Simeon approaches them. The Holy Spirit is upon Simeon, and he takes the baby in his arms and proclaims,
‘Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.’ (Luke 2:29-32)
Then he begins to prophesy to Mary; 'Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.'
When he finishes, an eighty-four year old woman named Anna comes up and begins to prophecy about this newborn child to everyone who was hoping for the salvation he had come to bring.
The Christ has come! God-revealing prophetic light is flooding out for all to see. From now on everything God has to say finds its center in Jesus!