We Are Family - A Silly Daddy Comic and Essay

We Are Family - Panel 1 - Silly Daddy Comic by Joe Chiappetta
We Are Family - Panel 2 - Silly Daddy Comic by Joe Chiappetta
We Are Family - Panel 3 - Silly Daddy Comic by Joe Chiappetta
We Are Family - Panel 4 - Silly Daddy Comic by Joe Chiappetta
We Are Family - Panel 5 - Silly Daddy comic by Joe Chiappetta
We Are Family - Panel 6 - Silly Daddy comic by Joe Chiappetta
We Are Family - Panel 7 - Silly Daddy Comic by Joe Chiappetta
We Are Family - Panel 8 - Silly Daddy comic by Joe Chiappetta
We Are Family - Panel 9 - Silly Daddy comic by Joe Chiappetta
We Are Family - Panel 10 - Silly Daddy comic by Joe Chiappetta
We Are Family - Panel 11 - Silly Daddy comic by Joe Chiappetta
We Are Family - Panel 12 - Silly Daddy comic by Joe Chiappetta

Silly Daddy comics celebrates the family unit in all it's God-given, down to earth, splendor.

Family Cartoonist, Husband, and Father Expresses our Shared Unity in the Lives We Live.

The family unit (husband, wife, and their children) was designed by God to be a core component of our human experience. Due to a steady erosion of family unity in our culture, my work focuses on the restoration of family. This has been done through the visual art of the comic strip. Themes in these works revolve around building, repairing, and celebrating family, despite all obstacles.

My family documentary work celebrating the joys and heartaches of life as a parent have been expressed in comics for the past 25 years. Striving to present a pure-hearted view of parenting, marriage, and building unity, these slice-of-life vignettes are designed to leave viewers with a sense of hope and a future. Due to personal experience with a number of health impairments, I also frequent disability issues in my work, combining humor with the intent to help others have more compassion for those in need. Living life to the full despite health challenges is recurring theme. My work aims to combine creativity with integrity to inspire the world to live a respectful and meaningful life under God almighty.

As a former single dad, and now a husband and father of three, generating work that is inclusive to all ages is vital. Art that is encouraging for kids, parents and grandparents to experience together is becoming a rare commodity as society increases its appetite for art that replaces good-old-fashioned soul with sinister shock-value. Real life, if you're really living it and giving it your all, has enough surprises of its own. As for me, I am content with having the LORD to be "my shepherd... he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul" (Psalm 23:1-3).

At the end of the day, I hope my life, and my work will stand as a message of light shining in a dark place--a guidepost for the soul.

Joe Chiappetta, Artist's Statement, 2015

Comic drawings at top are by Joe Chiappetta 2015, ink on pieces of 11" x 8.5" paper (one being photographed with sand, rocks, and a shell in Chicago at Loyola Beach), as well as digital drawings and GIF animation on an Acer computer.

For more on family, see almost every one of my Books.

Silly Daddy: A Real Patriot

In the true spirit of America, a young teen boy proudly holds up a BBQ beef sandwich along with the American flag and declares, "I'm so grateful for Independence Day: there's more hamburgers to eat!"

Happy birthday, USA.

Those who know me might have guessed that there is deep political satire and social commentary grilled into the meat of this comic. Sizzle, sizzle.

Comic drawn by Joe Chiappetta, 2015 on Google Nexus tablet in SketchBook program.

Silly Daddy Salon

Silly Daddy Salon comic by Joe Chiappetta
"Thanks Dad, for paying for my side bangs," the grateful and stylish little daughter sporting a new haircut said to her father.

Quite taken by surprise, Silly Daddy asked, "Side bangs cost MONEY?"

Having never heard of side bangs before this moment, Silly Daddy asked his daughter to explain what they are. What she had to say was somewhat educational:
"Side bangs are hairs that hang above your eyes, but they aren't straight. They start on one end and slant to the other side. I want side bangs because I've had the same hair all my life (9 years) and to me it's getting kind of boring. Also side bangs look AWESOME. Plus, me with side bangs would look cool."

Comic by Joe Chiappetta 2015 drawn on Samsung Note 3 Phone in SketchBook for Galaxy drawing program.

Silly Daddy Announces New Book in the Post-Literate Era

Silly Daddy and Cousin Brat-Gadget have Postliterate Discussion - comic by Joe Chiappetta Panel 2 of Silly Daddy and Cousin Brat-Gadget comic by Joe Chiappetta
Silly Daddy and his fancy Cousin Brat-Gadget have an important postliterate discussion.

Holding up a brand new paperback with gratitude and a sense of accomplishment, Silly Daddy declares, "I just published my new book called 'Mighty Messianic Prophecy!'"

"What is that?" asks his Cousin Brat-Gadget, who is also watching a cartoon about rabbits on her virtual reality goggles.

Silly Daddy almost quotes the book's subtitle (Biblical Research of Predictions Proving that Jesus is God), but instead decides to reply with a shorter answer, since Cousin Brat-Gadget is so distracted with all her technology stuff. Silly Daddy simply says, "It's about how to find Jesus in the Old Testament."

Somewhat distracted, yet not satisfied with this answer, Cousin Brat-Gadget restates the question: "No, I mean what is a book?" Then before any further answer from Silly Daddy can be given, Brat-Gadget loses herself in an amazing cartoon bunny solo song. La-la-la!

This comic serves two essential functions: social commentary and infomercial dissemination.
1) It's a satirical social commentary on the state of declining literacy in the world. There will come a time when a significant number of people will not be familiar with what a book is.
2) This is also a real new book announcement. I really did just publish the new nonfiction spiritual paperback book mentioned above. An earlier version of the book was released previously as an eBook, but the new paperback version is completely updated with all the latest insights featuring prophecies about Jesus Christ.
Click here for the book: Mighty Messianic Prophecy.

While this is an actual new paperback book announcement, the above comic is not an actual conversation, since Cousin Brat-Gadget reads a few books a week because it's "old school," and she's probably more literate than me.

Comic by Joe Chiappetta 2015 is drawn in SketchBook Pro for Galaxy program on Samsung Note 3 Tablet Phone, edited in Paint.net program.

Silly Daddy Meets the Riverbeast

Silly Daddy Meets the Riverbeast comic by Joe Chiappetta
A perpetually creative American man sums up some basic truths behind his artistic output by saying "My work contains a huge slice-of-life component."

Suddenly, the bizarre aquatic monster known appropriately as the Riverbeast attacks and declares "Grr... mine too!"

Comic by Joe Chiappetta copyright 2015, drawn on computer in Artrage and Paint.net programs.

This Silly Daddy comic is a tribute to the work of my wildly talented friend Matt Farley, who starred in one of my favorite low-budget, yet highly amazing movies: Don't Let the Riverbeast Get You. The amount of creative ability that has been given to Matt Farley is simply stunning. He writes movies, is a very insightful actor, and creates music and lyrics for a breathtaking variety of songs. Long time Silly Daddy Comic readers may also recognize Matt's name, since he put the Silly Daddy Song to music and recorded it.

Matt's movie work has a way of sneaking up on you, as in "I can't believe this ridiculous premise for a story has turned into a timeless life lesson while entertaining me at the same time." At first glace, Matt Farley's stories seem to have little to do with real life, but most are actually very cleverly grounded and even inspired. Matt, with his lovable and memorable collaborators are consistently able to tie in the universally human elements of life into the most oddball of pop-culture situations and leave you laughing and grateful to be alive. I thank God for Matt Farley. He's an unconventional and unforgettable innovator of the most remarkable kind.

My teenage son, Luke Chiappetta, reviewed the monstrously entertaining movie "Don't Let The Riverbeast Get You" below.

Riverbeast Will Rivet You With Laughs 

"Don't Let The Riverbeast Get You" was certainly one of the best movies I have ever seen in my life! Produced by Matt Farley and directed by Charles Roxburgh in 2012, this movie had hilarious, good-natured  humor, but also kept your interest with quick scenes of the mysterious Riverbeast, and a person getting killed every once and a while.

However, the story was not just about a wild, rampant Riverbeast killing people! It had a great (and extremely funny) plot line, and the blend of a monster plot with realistic slices of life was excellent! The way relationships are handled in the story creates a very relatable atmosphere--the characters could easily be any of our dear friends and relatives (well, except for the Riverbeast). The script was unpredictably entertaining and the Riverbeast costume was super-awesome. My little sister, who was seven years old when we first watched this, even got a little scared of the Riverbeast at some points in the movie.

Intentionally using a number of untrained and/or unprofessional actors for much of this film, the acting "mistakes" just added to the hilarious and good-natured tone of the film. While watching it, you feel a down-home familiarity with all of the characters. In fact, the tough-guy characters in the story reminded me of some of my family members. For instance, the police officer reminded me of my own grandfather, a no-nonsense, old-fashioned, classic police officer in real life.

Of all the Matt Farley's movies, hilarious YouTube videos and his songs, "Don't Let The Riverbeast Get You" is my favorite Matt Farley production so far, and is in my top five list of best movies. This film is one of the best (and funniest) movies I have ever seen, and I definitely recommend it for anyone looking for a wildly original, off-the-wall, yet down-to-earth movie.

See for yourself in the official movie trailer to Don't Let the River Beast Get You:

Silly Daddy and an Annie Movie Musical

Silly Daddy and an Annie Movie Musical

While dancing with his daughter to the finale of the 2014 Annie movie remake, Silly Daddy said, "Wow, what's better than an Annie movie musical?"

His daughter replied, "Dancing to one!"

For the record, I can't really decide which Annie movie musical is better: the original or the new one. I've seen them both over and over multiple times--with equal excitement at each viewing. They are both fun, moving, inspiring, deep, timeless and hopeful. I completely identify with the hard-hearted and distracted man who is transformed by the purity of children and the responsibility of fatherhood. I thank God for second chances.

Silly Daddy Comic by Joe Chiappetta 2015 is drawn on Samsung Note 3 phone in SketchBook for Galaxy program, and edited in Paint.net program.

Mighty Messianic Prophecy - Book Ordering Page

Christian Book cover and ordering page for Mighty Messianic Prophecy - Biblical Research of Predictions Proving that Jesus Is God - written by Joe Chiappetta
Tired of being baffled by the Bible?
Find Jesus in the Old Testament by reading this 172 page Bible study guide.
Discover how the story of Jesus has been thinly yet astonishingly veiled in the Old Testament and just waiting for you to gain a rich appreciation into the very nature of God.

In USA: Order Book in Paperback from Amazon
              Order eBook for Kindle

              UK Book ordering page

Mighty Messianic Prophecy:

Biblical Research of Predictions Proving that Jesus Is God

A book by Joe Chiappetta
In this book of biblical research designed to unlock the deeper truths of Christianity, discover how analysis of Scripture can propel your faith and understanding to new heights. This massive Christian study guide is a non-fiction, no-nonsense, non-stop examination of the predictions proving Jesus to be the definitive and only Lord for all people and all nations. The identity of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, is revealed through this deeper research into the hundreds of Bible verses which point directly to the coming of our Savior, who is the Son of God and God in the flesh.

If the prophecies from Moses to Malachi are often an unsolved mystery for you, this book uses plain language, clear biblical references, verifiable research results, and logical commentary to explain God's Word. Build your faith and knowledge as to how God has been calling out to mankind with specific truths regarding Jesus since the Garden of Eden. Starting with the very first prophecy, get your answers in Genesis and all the prophets as they point to Jesus with uncanny consistency. Chapters and topics covered in this non-boring book of biblical research include the following:
  • Lost in the Future or Anchored to the Ancient Book
  • Will the Real Scriptures Please Stand Up?
  • From Defective to Faithful Footing
  • Messianic Questions
  • Definitions of Biblical Terms
  • Short List of Messianic Prophecies Fulfilled
  • Why Is Messianic Prophecy So Valuable?
  • Prophecies about the Resurrection
  • The Very First Prophecy about Jesus
  • Hanging on a Tree
  • Supernatural Lineage
  • God Has a Son, and That's a Big Deal
  • The Son of God Is God the Father
  • Father and Son Questions: Answering the Skeptics
  • The Anointed One Is Set Above
  • Statements, Dreams, Visions, and Events
  • Amos on the Messiah
  • The Radical Relevance of the Old Testament
  • Zechariah Nails It
  • The Messiah is the Branch
  • Rebuilding and Reforming under Zerubbabel and Jesus
  • Men Symbolic of Things to Come
  • What about People Who Never Heard of Jesus?
  • The Fate of Non-Christians
  • The Global Importance of Jesus
  • Are You Still Doubting God?
  • Where Have All the Mighties Gone?
  • God Is Mighty
  • Jesus Is Mighty
  • Men and Women Can Be Mighty
  • Most People Vote Jesus Is God
Mighty Messianic Prophecy is loaded with new research and theological analysis of many Bible predictions never before discussed as messianic prophecies. Be inspired by a book designed to leave you rock-solid about who our Rock and Redeemer really is: Jesus the Christ. Award-winning author Joe Chiappetta holds up the scriptures with an evangelistic style that will have you bookmarking, memorizing, and sharing these faithful insights with your family, friends, and anyone else willing to explore the Gospel like never before.
172 pages. Also includes 40 illustrations.

Order Mighty Messianic Prophecy on Amazon


Chapter 1: Lost in the Future or Anchored to the Ancient Book

Do you know your maker? For too much of my life, I would sadly have to answer that question with a definitive "No" or "Not really," or even "Get out of my face!" Looking back, I must admit that my seeking of truth was quite pathetic. Fiction and fantasy were more to my liking back then. In fact, my fictions and fantasies were more real to me than the truth. I could tell you how Spiderman got his dangerous black costume (in Marvel's Secret Wars), yet have no clue how to remove the dark stains of my sin from the depths of my soul.

However all that changed in 1998 when I became a follower of Jesus. The dark stains have been washed away by the blood of Jesus in the waters of baptism. I am so grateful to be able to know God through living out a new life by his word. I know my maker now. My maker is the Messiah, and the Messiah, as we shall see from studying the Bible, is God.

Other peoples and nations can go on inventing all sorts of bizarre origins of species that may dazzle the masses for a time. Yet time is fleeting. And I choose to remain grounded in the truths of my maker, my Messiah. I hope that you will join me.

So many people from around the world that I run into here in Chicago are still like I use to be. They don't know their maker and are doing very little to get to know him, due to an ignorance or lack of faith. Recently, my wife and I ran into some graduate students from China who said that they had never prayed at all to anyone in their entire lifetime. Not only did they not know their maker, but they didn't even think they had a maker.

Thankfully, the Bible says in Romans 10:17 that "faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ." So we studied the Bible with those students and got into their lives. Within a month's time, they became disciples of Jesus Christ. Therefore, there is true hope for us all.

So much about God's message to us comes alive on a deeper level when we gain a richer understanding about the Messiah. We will look at who the Messiah is, what the word "Messiah" means, how active the Messiah is throughout the scriptures, and how interconnected the Messiah and God really are.
While the rest of the world chases after entertainment, selfish ambition, and all sorts of idols, we will build our faith in our maker through the role of his anointed one. That is actually the literal translation of what Messiah means: anointed one. I am amazed at the amount of people--both in and out of the church--who don't know this. Yet the significance of knowing the anointed one is literally life-changing.

To illustrate the direction our society is heading in, imagine this family scene, perhaps from the not too distant future. A father and son are lounging around in their high-tech living room while the son opens up an old and dusty box. Brittle, acidic cardboard gives off the stale odor of mildew as it permeates out from the yellowing container. The father is surprised at what his son has discovered in this long-forgotten box.

Glancing up from his virtual reality goggles, the dad declares, "Wow that's a real authentic book! We should read it." The father is referring to the top book in the box which his son grabs in curiosity. The title of this giant vintage book evokes a sense of respect and awe: The Holy Bible.
The son, being only accustomed to multimedia eBooks, movies, virtual reality, and multiplayer online video games, has never seen an actual printed book. So, with sincerity, the boy asks "Where is the start button?"

This allegorical scene depicting the increasingly aloof attitude that our world has for the Bible has led me to a significant observation; more and more, I find that people, self included, can be easily captivated by the allure of anything new: Google Glasses, iPhones, iPads, iWatch, Wii, the list goes on. I don't have any of these devices but I can't deny a certain fascination with the development and progress of such toy-like technology and the new content that these formats pave the way for.
While the facade of spinning everything new as supremely better remains part of our societal value system, one ancient book continues to hold up content that, despite being quite old, "is perfect, reviving the soul," as stated in Psalm 19:7. That book, of course, is The Holy Bible.

As we enjoy a sense of newness in life which God allows us to have, and as we search for the next big thing, I am reminded that what really counts is for us to meditate on God's law, "day and night" (Psalm 1:2). Think deeply and repeatedly about what God calls us to be and to do. Most people might scoff at this kind of talk. I know this for sure, since I was such a person for three dark decades of my life.

Nevertheless, a few faithful believers, anchored to the past that was transformed by Jesus Christ on the cross, will find excitement in God's ability to "revive the soul." No one but God can do such a thing as to revive our inner life essence--our soul. Yet for God, that is his main line of work! Luke 19:10 explains that Jesus "came to seek and to save what was lost." Being a former lost soul, and completely undeserving of any sort of revival, I am so grateful that God still called me to him. I was a lost cause, drunk on the future glory of self and fellow man, without a clue as to which way was up. Yet I was revived, converted, and found--only by the grace (undeserved favor) of God.

In the future, which seems to be here today and full of tantalizing distractions, our population will become increasingly polarized about God. The multitudes continue to abandon him in favor of the many modern-day idols, while a select few will find an anchor for their soul in the promise of salvation through Jesus Christ, as highlighted in Hebrew 6:19, "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure...."

Therefore the following core question is left as a warning, and as a challenge; are you lost in the future or anchored to God's word? Accurately predicting the coming of Jesus Christ, the Bible may be an ancient book, but it is the only book that has stood the test of time. In the end, the Bible will also be the only book to remain.
If you need help finding the start button, messianic prophecy is an amazing place to begin.

Chapter 2: Will the Real Scriptures Please Stand Up?

Most of my life, the topics that I have researched and written about passionately often get started because I had become alarmed or surprised about a particular issue that had previously caught me off guard. Such is the case with this study of scriptures having to do with Jesus.

First of all, I became quite surprised when I looked up the meaning of the word "scripture" in Thayer's Greek Lexicon, which is a historical Bible dictionary that attempts to define words as they were used at the time of their writing. Like most people, I assumed that the word "scripture" had always and only meant what it has come to mean today: the holy writings from God. Yet I was completely wrong.

Most of the word's usage in ancient Greek literature is not dependent on any supernatural being authoring that which had been written. Used 51 times in the New Testament, the Greek word for "scripture" is "graphe," and it simply means "a writing," or "a thing written." From Sophocles, the ancient Greek playwright (496 BC) on down the line, the same Greek word, "graphe" has been used to mean "writing." It originally started out to mean any kind of writing: legal documents, historical accounts, letters, and of course, the recorded words of God.

This can best be seen by using the Perseus Digital Library at www.perseus.tufts.edu. This is an online database cataloging most of the surviving Greek works of antiquity. I have found it to be an amazing resource to research word origins from Greco-Roman times. As a project of Tufts University, their database is currently free to use.

Running the word "scripture" (translated from "graphe") through the Perseus Digital Library was quite an eye opener. As an example of the word graphe's everyday usage from 431 BC, see this line from The Peloponnesian War by Thucydides (book 1, chapter 129, verse 1). "This was all that was revealed in the writing, and Xerxes was pleased with the letter. He sent off Artabazus, son of Pharnaces, to the sea with orders to supersede Megabates, the previous governor in the satrapy of Daskylion, and to send over as quickly as possible to Pausanias at Byzantium a letter which he entrusted to him; to show him the royal signet, and to execute any commission which he might receive from Pausanias on the king's matters, with all care and fidelity."

The word translated as "writing" in the first sentence is "graphe" in Greek. Of course, "graphe" is the same word also translated into English as "scripture." Yet clearly, the context is merely political correspondence through letters, not godly communication. So what is going on here? What is scripture?

I began to wonder what many people might start to wonder; when did the word "scripture," which originally just referred to "writing" come to mean "writing from God?" After long hours looking through ancient Greek books, letters and laws, it became clear that the works of ancient Greeks like Sophocles and Plato held no clues to some sort of transitional meaning for when the word known now as "scripture" gradually changed into exclusively meaning "the writings from God."

Therefore, I came to a simple conclusion. There is little transitional use of the word "graphe" because writings are writings. Nevertheless, the New Testament writers, inspired by God, were basically so excited about God's word that all other writings were typically insignificant to even mention.
I liken this to a few decades ago when I was poor and could only afford to make a sandwich composed of bread with nothing but potato chips in the middle. Now fast forward to the present day where my wife makes delicious veggie burgers from scratch that could easily sell for top dollar in any restaurant. Putting down the sorely lacking sandwich of chips today, I would scoff and say "That's no sandwich. This is the sandwich!" as I held up my wife's homemade veggie burger.

How does that relate to the word now known as "scripture?" It's as if "graphe," when used to refer to writings from God, had been commandeered for the new plan that God was unfolding. All other writings are simply not in the same league as the prophetic blossoming of God's written rescue plan.
Romans 4:3 portrays the confidence which was put into God's own words. "What does the Scripture say? 'Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.'" This could equally be translated as such; "What does the writing say?" The New Testament writers don't have to specify which writing they were referring to. They were writing to believers who knew the only writing that really mattered was God's writing.

This is the case every time the word "graphe" is used in the New Testament. It always refers to God's inspired word even though the literal word by itself simply means "writing." See 2 Timothy 3:16. "All scripture is God-breathed and is useful..." Even though literally this sentence could be translated as "All writing is God-breathed," no one would accept that Paul is referring to all writings from any writer. Rather, the implication is that every prophetic statement delivered from God to man is from the very mouth of God. The context makes all the difference. For a special purpose, God set aside (made holy) the writings that told his message. This is confirmed in 2 Timothy 3:15, where the context is "the holy scriptures," which Timothy had been taught from infancy. In other words, the writing in the Bible is set aside for a special purpose. Indeed, no other book is "living and active," (Hebrews 4:12) except for the Bible. That's beyond special--that's the amazing authorship of God.

In similar form, consider what Timothy was told by Paul in 2 Timothy 4:2. "Preach the Word…." No one asks "Which word?" It is already understood that "the word," translated from "logos" in Greek, refers to a collection of things which are put together in thought, gathered together in the mind, and are expressed in words. That's Thayer's Greek Lexicon definition of "logos." Words spoken by whom, you might ask? Spoken by Christ, of course, not that Christ is part of the original ancient Greek definition of "logos" but everyone knows from reading the rest of Paul's letter that the context is Christ. Therefore Paul is commanding Timothy to preach the collected sayings and thoughts of Jesus. That, of course, must bring us to the Bible--the written word of God.

God's word (logos) is so important, that God even commandeers the meaning of logos and turns it into a proper name for the Messiah in Revelation 19:13, "He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God." This, of course, refers to Jesus, who is also named "King of Kings and Lord of Lords," a few verses later (Revelation 19:16) with writing "on his robe and on his thigh."

When God talks about his word, and his writing, all other writing pales by comparison. After all, God, through his prophets and apostles, has revealed with the completion of the Bible, his complete plan for our lives. It is centered on his coming in the flesh as the anointed one (the Messiah) who loves us, died for us, and rose from the dead so that we too might live a new life in Christ (Christ is Greek for Messiah, which means "anointed one" in Hebrew).

In the case of the word "scripture," by the time the Bible got translated into English, the translators created a new English word for this phenomenon of God bringing holy writings to his people. The word origin of "scripture" according to Oxford Dictionaries supports this view: "Middle English: from Latin scriptura 'writings', from script- 'written', from the verb scribere."

The best Bible verse to demonstrate how the word "scripture" originally just meant "writings" is in Matthew 26:56. "'But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.' Then all the disciples deserted him and fled." The word that English translators portray here as "writings" is "graphe." The reason they translate it as "writings" and not "scriptures" is because the English speaking world already understands that scriptures are writings from prophets.

Therefore the phrase in English would be redundant to say "the scriptures of the prophets." So in this case, the translators use the more historical translation of "graphe" by calling the writings what they literally are: writings.

As we focus on the scriptures, the writings from God through the prophets, we will pay attention to the scriptures that show us who God is, and what we need to do about it. While not the most trending topic of today's distracted world, studying messianic prophecies will get you exactly what you need to know: who God is, and what you need to do about it. Messianic prophecies are promises from the Bible. Promises in the Old Testament turn into facts about the Messiah in the New Testament--facts that define the very nature of God, and facts that should change your life, unless you're too tired to stand up for what is right in this dark world.

In Acts 2, the Israelites were remarkably attentive to the details of the Apostle Peter's message at the Feast of Pentecost during 33 AD. But why? It involved more than the miraculous tongues of fire that God had delivered to get the people's attention. The first part of Peter's sermon was a sobering truth about the death of the Messiah. Who killed the great king we've been waiting for all our lives? You did. Statements like Peter's should move you to stand straight up in grief and urgency.

Acts 2:23 "This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross."

That's a big deal. Imagine all your life hearing about a hero that has been promised to be sent to rescue you. But then you find out that this hero has been killed and what's even worse: you are responsible! That is what was going on in Acts 2. But Jesus isn't your average hero. He rose from the dead--just like he said he would all along!

Matthew 16:21 "From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life."

What is so amazing is that this occurrence was not just predicted a few years before it happened. It was prophesied about hundreds, and even over a thousand years beforehand.

From Genesis to Revelation, these are the writings (scriptures) to be reckoned with. Accept no substitute--no boastful words of men. Only the Bible contains verifiable statements that all came true about our God in the flesh and our God in heaven. A careful study of the Bible reveals that they are one and the same. These are the scriptures--the only writings--that stand straight up in the name of truth. Examine them and do likewise: stand straight up in the name of Jesus--"the way and the truth and the life." (John 14:6)

Chapter 3: From Defective to Faithful Footing

It was a typical Men's Midweek Service in the church one Wednesday evening. Despite the cold Chicago winter, the brothers were fired up, the singing was powerful and the fellowship was all a buzz about our God. But as the Bible lesson started, something that was more than a footnote happened to me.

While moving to the other side of the room to get a better spot to listen to the sermon, a sudden stream of reddish dirt began to spray outward from below me. Obviously, one of the other brothers must have tracked in a giant clump of mud from outside and now I just stepped in it. Don't these guys have the decency to wipe their feet before they come in from the cold?

I came to this conclusion quickly and naturally. It couldn't possibly be me, since I wore clean winter boots from home. From my car to the building there was only white snow and salty pavement.
But then I took another step, which sprayed even more dirt across the floor. It began to look as if a football player had stomped his filthy cleats out along the ground. Yet this was unnervingly eerie: I was certain my boots were clean, so where on earth could this odd reddish dirt becoming from? A closer look revealed that the reddish material emanating from beneath me was unlike any mud a man could step in. Its appearance was finer than sand, yet mixed with pebble-sized uneven clumps of... who knows what. Suddenly people were starting to look at me funny. I quickly scampered toward a new spot but almost tripped over my own foot along the way.

Totally dumbfounded, I looked down at my right shoe to find that the entire sole of my extra thick winter boot had flopped out unevenly from the rest of the footwear. The bottom inch of this right boot had mysteriously ripped away from the rest of my foot, creating a wobbly mess that was spraying the fine red powder in odd directions across the floor.

Gratefully, there was a garbage can exactly where I had plopped down to listen to the sermon. Discreetly as possible, I threw the ripped sole away. Yet I could not escape the trail of red dirt that still emanated from the new bottom of my right boot. Every move I made resulted in more mess. So I tried not to move. After careful examination, it was clear that the new bottom of my boot had somehow lost all its flexibility and had transformed into a crusty deposit of dark red rubber powder.
Even with that understanding, I couldn't help but wonder; "What is going on here? Is God trying to tell me something? What is it? Is this some sort of warning message from the Lord?"
I wasn't sure. So, like a good Christian, I tried to focus on the lesson being preached--while moving as little as possible.

A baptism took place immediately after the lesson, so all the men walked across the room to gather around the water tub. As we went, I also wondered if anyone noticed that I was walking funny. Wearing an uneven right shoe one inch lower than the other shoe made me sort of hobble over to the baptism. And immediately after our new brother got out of the water, my left foot began to flop just like the other foot. I looked down, and sure enough, now both bottoms of my boots had mysteriously been ripped from the bottoms of my poor feet. Inevitably, this spawned a whole new crop of red rubber powder. Everywhere I stepped became a mist of red debris.

These strange happenings abruptly shortened me by an inch and fixed my hobbling problem. But later, while sweeping up my red trail of confusion, I again began to wonder; "What can a man possibly learn from losing both of his shoe soles in one night at church? Am I being prompted to take off my footwear because the place I am standing on is holy ground? Or was this some sort of coded prophecy? Should I repent before I lose the very footing from beneath me?"

After a score of wild interpretations, I finally came to my senses and figured it out. Repentance is always good. But God has no need for me to infuse extra meaning into defective shoes. Rather, he calls me--and you--to look for true meaning in prophecy that has an eternal impact. I am talking about messianic prophecies: real documented events in the life of Jesus. These happenings were directly alluded to or specifically predicted hundreds of years before they actually happened.
Before we go back in time again to explore more examples of these predictive events, we need to pose some questions, define some terms, and set a goal.

Messianic Questions

I have some questions for you about the Messiah. These are important questions to ask yourself now, and every day:

  • Who is the Messiah?
  • How important is the Messiah?
  • Are you excited about the Messiah now, or just at some long-gone point from your past?
  • Whose Messiah is he?
  • How will the Messiah impact the world?
  • How will the Messiah impact you?
  • Do you know the Messiah?

Prophecy Ponderings

I also have some questions about prophecy:

  • What is prophecy?
  • How important is prophecy?
  • How will prophecy impact the world?
  • How will prophecy impact you?
  • Are you fluent in prophecy?
  • Have you memorized any prophecy?

If you are not rock solid with your answers to these questions, this lesson will help you to mature in your understanding. Now perhaps you may be thinking, "Oh, yes, I pretty much know all that stuff. I've heard it all before."

Great, but shouldn't these truths still inspire you? Or is there an expiration date on the freshness of God's word to you? Surely not! Moreover, can you sit toe to toe with an unbeliever, or even a new Christian, and explain these prophetic concepts to them intelligently by using the scriptures? This lesson will give you tools to help yourself and others gain a deeper appreciation for God's consistent plan.

Definitions of Biblical Terms

Prophecy (noun). Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary
1) An inspired utterance of a prophet
2) The function or vocation of a prophet; specifically the inspired declaration of the divine will and purpose
3) A prediction of something to come

Prophetic (adjective). Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary
1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of a prophet or prophecy
2) Foretelling events: predictive
3) That which is revealed by God

Messiah (noun). Source: A Concise Dictionary of the Hebrew Bible by James Strong
Strong's Reference # 4899: mashiyach
"Anointed: usually a consecrated person (as in king, priest, or saint)"
Basically the word "Messiah" means anointed one, one rubbed with oil, as in a king anointed with oil. The Greek word for anointed is Christ. By association in scripture, the anointed one is the savior and redeemer. This, of course, is the role and title for Jesus of Nazareth.

Keep in mind that the Hebrew word for "Messiah" (mashiyach) is used in the Old Testament 39 times. In the New Testament, the word "Messiah" occurs 68 times. Additionally, the Greek word "Christ," which means "Messiah," occurs in the New Testament 469 times. That's a total of 576 times. Clearly if we want to understand Jesus, we must pay greater attention to Jesus' special title and the anointed activity going on in the Bible.

Now today, if I came over to you and poured oil on (anointed) you in this very moment, how would you take it? At the very least, you'd wonder why I was trying to mess up your hair, or ruin your favorite shirt. In fact, when I get olive oil on my neckties while eating pasta or a sandwich (which happens all too often), I sometimes have to throw those hopelessly stained articles of clothing away. But as Adam Clarke writes in his commentary (page 37) of The New Testament (1817) anointing was no accidental spill. "...In ancient times, prophets, kings, and priests were anointed with oil." This was a great honor from days bygone.

In Psalm 133:1-2, the precious nature of oil anointment is poetically portrayed in the anointing of Moses' older brother Aaron. "How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron's beard, down upon the collar of his robes."

In the case of the first kings of Israel, the kings were anointed by the prophet Samuel as a sign that God was with them and chose them specifically to lead. See the anointing of King Saul in 1 Samuel 10:1 as well as the anointing of David in 1 Samuel 16.

It should not be surprising then that Jesus, the king of kings, also was anointed in Mark 14:3-9. "While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, 'Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year's wages and the money given to the poor.' And they rebuked her harshly. 'Leave her alone, 'said Jesus. 'Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her."

Women should take special note, as this can inspire women's ministries around the globe; it was a female who anointed Jesus. Look at how valuable Jesus' anointing was. The materials used to anoint Jesus were worth "more than a year's wages." Jesus calls this anointing "a beautiful thing." Jesus wanted people to remember this humble, yet expensive anointing forever, as evident from what he says at the end: "wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her." That Jesus wanted people to remember this anointing shows how he felt about the importance of being the Messiah: everyone must know it "throughout the world."
On an only somewhat related side note, there are companies even today that sell spikenard mixed with olive oil as a perfume. While it is doubtful that this is what Jesus meant when he prophesied the continual memory of this anointing, it is remarkable to see the impact of this two-thousand year old anointing influence commerce even today.

Let's look at one more definition that needs to become part of our regular vocabulary.

Messianic (adjective). Source: Oxford Dictionary
1) Relating to the Messiah: the messianic role of Jesus
2) Inspired by hope or belief in a messiah: the messianic expectations of that time
3) Fervent or passionate: an admirable messianic zeal

It should be noted that the word "messianic" is not in the Bible. However it is still an important term to comprehend. In writing about Christianity, it has become a standard word used to describe things related to Jesus in his role as Messiah.

The purpose of these definitions and this lesson is so that you see a greater need to know the Messiah and are moved to faithful action by the prophecies about the Messiah.

In The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict, by Josh McDowell (1999), the author notes that the Old Testament "contains nearly three hundred references to the coming Messiah" (Chapter 8, page 164). Imagine 300 predictions about Jesus' life: all written before the fact and all coming true! That's what you get in the Bible--a lifetime of inspiration.

What follows is a short list of some of the key messianic prophecies that I have found very inspiring and faith-building. Keep in mind that below is not a comprehensive list. Yet just these few are prophecies that can quickly help you to build a great overview. It paints an undeniable picture about who the savior of the world is. This list of prophecies is so rich, that whole sermons and even books could be built around each passage. Some of the verses are covered in greater detail elsewhere in this book, but it's also good to have a quick reference list of powerful prophecies to bookmark. I do encourage you to study them out further on your own.

Short List of Messianic Prophecies Fulfilled

  • David's descendant will be God: Jeremiah 23:5-6 with Luke 3:23, 31
  • Born of a virgin: Isaiah 7:14 with Matthew 1:18, 24, 25
  • Born in Bethlehem: Micah 5:2 with Matthew 2:1
  • Given gifts of gold and frankincense: Isaiah 60:6 with Matthew 2:11
  • Out of Egypt comes God's son: Hosea 11:1 with Matthew 2:13-15
  • Ministry begins in Galilee: Isaiah 9:1 with Matthew 4:12-13, 17
  • Spoke in parables: Psalm 78:2 with Matthew 13:34-35
  • Entered Jerusalem on a donkey: Zechariah 9:9 with Matthew 21:4-7
  • Praised by infants: Psalm 8:2 with Matthew 21:16
  • Betrayed by a friend: Psalm 41:9 with Matthew 10:4 and Matthew 26:49-50
  • Sold for 30 silver pieces: Zechariah 11:12 with Matthew 26:15
  • Wounded and bruised: Isaiah 53:5 with Matthew 27:26
  • Bones not broken: Psalm 34:20 with John 19:32-33
  • Pierced (crucified): Isaiah 53:5, Zechariah 12:10, Zechariah 13:6 and Psalm 22:16 with Matthew 27:35 See also Ezra 9:8. In the NIV the term translated as "firm place" is literally a "peg" or "nail."
  • Died with thieves: Isaiah 53:12 with Matthew 27:38
  • Buried with the rich: Isaiah 53:9 with Matthew 27:57-60
  • Resurrection: Psalm 16:10 and Amos 9:11 with Acts 2:31
  • Raised on the 3rd day: Hosea 6:2 with 1 Corinthians 15:4

After going over these verses in detail, any person in their right mind would have to conclude that Jesus--and only Jesus--fulfills every one of these prophecies to the letter. That's inspiring! Beyond the inspiration, ask yourself how such a list of messianic prophecies might be beneficial to you on a daily basis.

Why Is Messianic Prophecy So Valuable?

1) The overwhelming amount of true predictions about Jesus confirms the accuracy of the Bible and thus increases your faith in God's word.
2) You understand Jesus, your creator and God, thus strengthening your relationship with him.
3) You will read your Bible more, or on a deeper level.
4) You can see the patience and larger plan of God over the centuries.
5) You can help others overcome their doubts about the accuracy of the Bible.

Lists of messianic prophecies always inspire me about the power of God and the perfection of his word. When the church started in Acts 2, one of the characteristics of each member was that "Everyone was filled with awe..." (Acts 2:43). The actual Greek word translated as "awe" here is "phobos," which means "fear, dread, terror, reverence, and respect." One of the reasons that these disciples were filled with such a powerful emotion is because the scriptures about the Messiah--God in the flesh--had finally come alive to them as fulfilled prophecies and it rocked their world.

Do you have that same sense of awe about God's word today? In order to grow more in awe of God, my challenge to you is twofold:
1. Add to this list of prophecies as you discover more in God's word.
2. Teach messianic prophecy to others.

In other words, know the Messiah, and make the Messiah known.
It takes patience and faith to step back, as God has, to see the Messiah's comprehensive rescue plan: that's the big picture of salvation. The scriptures spell this out so prophetically. Along the way, there will be many unforeseen things that may make us trip and stumble in our own boots. I can say this from the bottom of my "sole."

All kidding aside, persevere in God's word and stand on the trustworthy and true prophecies of our Messiah Jesus. Then your footing, like mine, may not always be pretty, but you will be anchored securely on God for an eternity, through a resurrected life.

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Chiappetta Catalog of Available Books and eBooks

Mighty Messianic Prophecy book ordering page by Joe Chiappetta Back Pain Avenger book ordering page Debt Busters book ordering page Star Chosen science fiction novel - book ordering page Power Pendant of Planet Pizon - a Star Chosen story by Joe Chiappetta Silly Daddy Armed with Intergalactic Weapons Not of this World - book ordering page Genesis Jam anthology ordering page Rescuing Super Mom book ordering page Silly Daddy graphic novel 2004 by Joe Chiappetta Silly Daddy in Space comic - book ordering page Crucified Comics - book ordering page
Comics and books to stir the imagination and the soul--for good.
Whether it's fiction or nonfiction you read, there are inspiring stories for everyone. Chiappetta is an award-winning Christian author, cartoonist, and community organizer. He writes and publishes about topics of fun, family, parenthood, God, science fiction, and disability issues. The one theme that permeates through all these books is the challenging, yet essentially life-changing directive to "Rejoice in the Lord always."

Silly Daddy's Offspring of Oats

Silly Daddy Offspring of Oats comic by Joe Chiappetta

The world of work is always teaching us new things. This Silly Daddy comic comes fresh out of the oven of employment life. While flexing her stone-ground organically grown muscles, my nutrition-minded daughter declared, "I'm learning so much about healthy eating at my new job at an organic bakery. I just found out that oats don't really have a long shelf life. Do you know what that means? We've been eating stale oatmeal our entire lives! It's tragic."

Don't you wish you had such a helpful daughter who could educate you on how to eat better and dodge the tragedies of the world--all while earning an income? I thank God for her.

Comic drawn by Joe Chiappetta on a Samsung Note 3 phone, 2014

Genesis Jam cover for Christian magazine

Genesis Jam cover art by Joe Chiappetta
Here is the original cover art (without title text) for the Genesis Jam eBook anthology that we published. Taking place in the Garden of Eden, this ink on paper cover shows Eve, the very first woman, holding a piece of nice, ripe fruit right before she decides to eat it.

For those following the Star Chosen universe, this book has (among other neat features) a self-contained biblical sci-fi short story called "Star Chosen and the Discovery of Eden."