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After The Birth of Jesus


Matthew 2

I am glad you are here. Hope you have had a good week.

“More about Jesus would I know, More of His grace to others show;

More of His saving fullness see, More of His love who died for me.”

That is the challenge…and that is what we are going to do this year in our lessons…we are going to spend a lot of time learning about Jesus.

The passage that ________ read…most people recognize as part of the “Christmas Story.”

Let me remind you of some things that we covered last week.

So Matthew writes this “to fully win the Jews to Christ”…to gain those who were still not converted…and to reassure those who had been.

Now, if Jesus is the King it is fitting that royal homage be rendered to Him, not only by the Jews but also by the Gentiles. Look starting in chapter 2:

 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem(House of Bread) of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, 2 “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east, and have come to worship Him.”

And if any of the Jews wanted to say that this never happened Matthew sets it in a time and place context…this took place in “the days of Herod the king when He was in Jerusalem.”

Vs. 3-5 And when Herod the king heard it, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he began to inquire of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 And they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it has been written by the prophet,

 6’And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,  Are by no means least among the leaders of Judah; For out of you shall come forth a Ruler, Who will shepherd My people Israel.’

So, here in just 6 short verses Matthew has told us that Jesus is “Lord of all”; He is confirmed by history; he is once again confirmed by one of their own prophets; and He is Ruler and Shepherd of God’s people.

Let’s go on; vs. 7:

7 Then Herod secretly called the magi, and ascertained from them the time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, “Go and make careful search for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, that I too may come and worship Him.”

9 And having heard the king, they went their way; and lo, the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them, until it came and stood over where the Child was. 10 And when they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And they came into the house and saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell down and worshiped Him; and opening their treasures they presented to Him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh.

Vs. 12: And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their own country by another way.

13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise and take the Child and His mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him.” 14 And he arose and took the Child and His mother by night, and departed for Egypt (relatively close, not nearly as far as Babylon or Persia; many Jews were living there; and Egypt was completely outside of Herod’s domain); 15 and was there until the death of Herod, that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, “Out of Egypt did I call My Son.”

Now, watch Herod’s wickedness unfold: Vs. 16: Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its environs, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had ascertained from the magi. 17 Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled, saying,

 18 “A voice was heard in Ramah, Weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; And she refused to be comforted, Because they were no more.” 19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, 20 “Arise and take the Child and His mother, and go into the land of Israel; for those who sought the Child’s life are dead.” 21 And he arose and took the Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he departed for the regions of Galilee, 23 and came and resided in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”

And one of the things that is interesting when it says that “He shall be called a Nazarene”, you will not find that statement made by any one single prophet…there is no scriptural reference in the prophets where that statement is made.

So let’s list now what Matthew has said about Jesus?

It may that some of us may need to have the same spirit as Joseph did.

“Ok, Joseph, Herod is dead…get up and take the child and His mother and go back to Israel.”

I am encouraging you to have the same spirit that Joseph had.

Something else to learn and remember from this story…look at vs. 12: And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their own country by another way.

But now, if God knew what Herod was going to do ahead of time why did He not simply kill Herod? Why did He let these babies be destroyed?