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Daily Bible Reading (Tuesday, January 2nd)

23

Matthew 2 (ESV)

 

The Visit of the Wise Men

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men[a] from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose[b] and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
    who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

The Flight to Egypt

13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 14 And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt 15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

Herod Kills the Children

16 Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:

18 “A voice was heard in Ramah,
    weeping and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
    she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”

The Return to Nazareth

19 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child's life are dead.” 21 And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to 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 in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee.23 And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, so that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, that he would be called a Nazarene.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 2:1 Greek magi; also verses 716
  2. Matthew 2:2 Or in the east; also verse 9

23 Comments

I’m in awe of God’s Word and how everything comes together. In our finite mind, it doesn’t make sense. I don’t have to figure it out. I just have to trust in Him the things pertaining to my life, loved ones and friends into His hands. My heart has been heavy for prayer. My husband, Joe, is not saved. I ask for prayer for him, family members and friends, who God has placed in my life. May I be light fir Him fo4 His glory. I’m not ashamed of the Gospel. In fact, I share it.

I’m in awe of God’s Word and how everything comes together. In our finite mind, it doesn’t make sense. I don’t have to figure it out. I just have to trust in Him the things pertaining to my life, loved ones and friends into His hands. My heart has been heavy for prayer. My husband, Joe, is not saved. I ask for prayer for him, family members and friends, who God has placed in my life. May I be light fir Him fo4 His glory. I’m not ashamed of the Gospel. In fact, I share it.

The wiseman's preparedness to worship in all humility is an example to us in contrast to Herod's pride. God used His creation to announce the birth of His Son, which the humble recognized but the prideful disregarded. We pray we will be resolute to humbly live our lives in complete obedience to our King.

We are always amazed that Gods plan is stronger than wicked men.

We, too, are thankful that God's plan and providence occurs regardless of man's attempts to do otherwise.

In this chapter there are big places big people, big authority from the world's perspective, but God uses the little things, the little people, and the little places to fulfill His magestic, and mighty plans and purposes to accomplish His will.

Oh little town of Bethlehem, I believe it was Francis Schaeffer who said there no little people and a little places

For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.
1 Corinthians 1:26‭-‬29 ESV

Always an encouragement to read about all the different ways that Jesus' birth and life fulfilled the many detailed prophesies of the Old Testament. The studious Jews, the ones who God was preparing for the coming of Christ would have longed for Jesus' coming. Makes me think about the prophesies that remain unanswered, for the day when Jesus will come again and how we should be prepared to worship Him on that day. Living expectantly and hopefully for the prophesies that scripture tells us are yet to come.

Amazing how nothing in this story seems to be by accident but all to fulfill very specific prophecies about the coming Messiah! Thankful for a God who is Faithful to His promises and in control of everything to ensure they come about.

The wise men are a comforting example of God's sovereignty in all things. Sometimes we worry about things like "how will God reach people in [pick some far away place]". For some places, the answer might be that you or I should go there and tell them. For *all* cases, though, we know for sure God will reach his people. These magi must have been from a very long way off (by the standards of the time), and yet God had providentially provided them with scripture and some supernatural guidance to fulfill their mission to come and worship the Creator. Pretty amazing!

Two things standout to me. First I love seeing the providence of God being played out in scripture and that as a believer Gods has a plan for me and He will see it completed. Secondly, as a father reading of Joseph obedience to God and how he took his family into a foreign land. His actions speak volumes to me.

The contrast between Jesus and Herod in this chapter have always struck me. Jesus’ humility in coming as a baby in order to save His people from their sins and the pride of Herod that led him to the murder of little ones. Such contrast of love and hate, of redemtion and death, of sorrow and joy.

Joseph submitted to God and loved his wife. In vs. 13 and 20 he is told to Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and Joseph did as he was told.

Brief Summary: Jesus is to be worshipped as a better king than David, the fulfillment of all the promises to Israel in his flight to and Exodus from Egypt, and the promisied deliverer/shepherd who was saved frrom infanticide like Moses, in fulfillment of prophecy.

It is interesting to me how only those wisemen saw and followed the star. Was nobody else aware that It was there and marking out a single house?

Wow to see the prophecy was to be fufilled no matter what Heord did! Thank You Lord!

"And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way." WOW! It's amazing how God ordains these things. He always finds a way to complete what he needs to. That's one thing that I'm glad I was able to learn through out the previous year.

To think that this “King” that the wise men once sought out, now reigns in my heart. Jesus Christ the King! What peace, what joy!

A couple of things stand out to me in this chapter. First, we see 4 references to fulfilled prophecy and one of those prophecies is described as "what the Lord had spoken by the prophet." This is a powerful testimony to the inspiration and inerrancy of the Scripture which points to it's authority. Which leads to my second observation and that is the believing obedience of Joseph. Even though he is being told hard things, Joseph always obeys without hesitation. The righteous man lives by faith and Joseph was a righteous man (1:19). I don't want to take any of God's Word lightly and I want to be like Joseph and faithfully, humbly obey God's Word.

When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him.

I should have the same reverance, or even a stronger desire to throw myself face down before the “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS”

S.D.G.

It is cool that the wise men went immediately to Jesus and didn’t hesitate.
That shows how much faith they have in Jesus.
It’s also amazing that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, he was a Nazarene, and In the area of Gallalie.

Herod's response was fear, jealousy and anger and had no interest in that "he too may come and worship him" (v.8). What resulted in this is a tragic killing of any male under two years old. Herod lived by his emotions whereas the magi and Joseph lived by faith. When commanded, they did not hesitate or ask questions, but simply did what they were told to do. We can see the fruit of living by either emotions or by faith.

Two observations
1) Deceitfulness and power of sin - Herod was so obsessed with his own power that he ordered the execution of babies in order to try and maintain control over his kingdom (sounds like something we are still dealing with today). He is also so blinded by his sinful passions that even though the Magi tell him exactly what he is dealing with, he actually believes that he can kill God. It is important for me to recognize how blinded by sin the lost world around me is, so that I am prepared to do the hard work of evangelizing them.

2) The Power and Plan of God - Our God had such a precise plan for his incarnation and such control over his creation that he planned the order of the stars to announce His coming thousands of years after he placed them in the heavens. We also know that he has planned out His return just as precisely. Maranatha.

I found it interesting in verse 3 that “all of Jerusalem” was troubled along with Herod that Christ had been born. Many knew the prophecies about the King to come, but it looks like only the magi had the faith; many today know the prophecies of the judgement that is to come, but very few have faith. Father, please increase our faith, and may it lead us to the faithfulness in Christ to preach it to all who will listen today.

The magi must have been looking every night for the sign in the sky of the coming Messiah, and when they saw the sign, they didn’t hesitate to act. Father, may we be faithful to watch for Your return and be a church of action.

v 11 - The magi fell to the ground to worship a child who couldn’t even talk yet.

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