Matthew 2:13-23 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Out of Egypt I Called My Son
Comments for Study 4

Matthew 2:13-23
Memory Verse: 15


I. The Escape to Egypt (13-18)

>1. How did Joseph come to know the danger? What direction did the angle give to Joseph? What can we learn here about Joseph's mission and God's hand upon baby Jesus?

Matthew 2:13 "When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "'Get up,' he said, 'take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.'"

* "When they had gone" -The Bible does not say how long, but from the events and Herod's former knowledge of the magi, the time must have been short from the magi leaving and Joseph taking Jesus and Mary to Egypt.

* "an angel appeared to Joseph" -Joseph's mission was to protect Jesus, raise him humanly, and care for his earthly needs.

* "in a dream" -The angle came at night, so Joseph must have left at night in a hurry. The Magi's gifts would come in handy on such a long, unexpected trip for poor people, who were already a long distance from home, which was Nazareth in Galilee.

* "take the child and his mother" -God was protecting Jesus. He protects all his people. Hebrews 1:14 says, "Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?"

To protect the baby Jesus the parents, Joseph and Mary was used. Joseph was the primary tool of God for this part of Jesus' human life.

The Bible predicts Jesus' life would be in threat throughout his life. According the Jeremiah 15:10, "Alas, my mother, that you gave me birth, a man with whom the whole land strives and contends! I have neither lent nor borrowed, yet everyone curses me." And according to Isaiah 53:3, "He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not."

* "to Egypt" -The distance to was seventy-five miles, but in order to be safe from Herod, Joseph would have to bring the child and his mother another twenty-five miles.

>2. How did Joseph respond to the angel's message? What can we learn from Joseph's obedience to the Lord's command?

Matthew 2:14 "So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt,"

* "So he got up" -Joseph obeyed right away. From him a man of God learns to do what the Lord wants even if it means hardships and to do it not at our convenience but when the Lord asks me to.

>3. How long had he stayed in Egypt? how did Matthew see the history of Israel recapitulated in the life of Jesus? (Hosea 11:1, Isaiah 19:1) Why was it signifacant from the author's point of view that the prophecy in verse 15 was fulfilled?

Matthew 2:15 "where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: 'Out of Egypt I called my son.'"

* Isaiah 19:1 says, "An oracle concerning Egypt: See, the LORD rides on a swift cloud and is coming to Egypt. The idols of Egypt tremble before him, and the hearts of the Egyptians melt within them." God loved Jesus even in Egypt. God loves and cares for us no matter where we are. God was protecting baby Jesus. God protects all his people.

God could have saved Jesus by wiping out Herod and his followers and soldiers, but God did not do this. Rather God chose to move him, Mary, and Joseph even though it inconvenienced them.

>4. What did Herod do when he realized that he was outwitted by the Magi? WWhat can we learn about the wickedness of Herod and the suffering of his people under his rule?

Matthew 2:16 "When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi."

* "he was furious" -When even mean "loose their cool" we shouldn't worry for God will protect us as he did Jesus, Joseph and Mary. John 14:1 says, ""Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me."

>5. Why did Herod fail in killing the baby Jesus? How did the author see this event from God's point of view? (18, Gen 35:19) How did God work and accomplish his purpose in spit of the tragedy and cruelty of the tyrannical rule of Herod?

Matthew 2:17-18 "Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: 'A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.'"

* "Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled" -When Matthew heard of these terrible acts, he saw them in light of God's words.

* "Rachel weeping for he children" -In the time this was originally told by Jeremiah, it was a reflection of Rachel when she gave birth to Benjamin and then died. Jeremiah reminded the Israelites of her weeping because they were being taken into captivity and many of their young men died. So with this prophecy, Rachel was a representative of a weeping mother. Matthew also sees that this prophecy is fulfilled again because of Herod's evil actions to the town of Rachel, Bethlehem.

* "Rachel" -Rachel is the wife of Jacob of the book Genesis, and the mother of Joseph and Benjamin.

II. The Return to Nazareth (19-23)

>6. When was the opportune time for Joseph and his family to return to the land of Israel? How did the Lord reveal this to Joseph? How did Joseph carry out God's command? How do you think Joseph grew spiritually while he was carrying out his mission as the father of the Messiah?

Matthew 2:19 "After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt"

* "an angel" -Again an angle was the messenger to Joseph.

Matthew 2:20 "So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel."

* He came to understand what the life of the Messiah would be like.

Matthew 2:21 "So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel."

* Again Joseph obeyed right away.

>7. Why did Joseph withdraw to Galilee and settle there rather than going to Bethlehem or Judea?

Matthew 2:22 "But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee"

* "Archelaus" -Before he died, Archelaus killed many prominent Jews including two thousand on one Passover day.

* "district of Galilee" -In Galilee was a small out of the way town called Nazareth which was Mary and Joseph's home town. (Luke 1:26) According to John 2:46 the town was known for no good. "Nazer" means "despised," or "not honorable". Christians were occasionally called Nazarenes.

>8. What was the significance ofJesus settling down and growing up in Nazareth and of being called a Nazarene? (Jude 13:5, Isaiah 53:2,3) How do you think Jesus was prepared in his Messianic work by being brought up in Nazareth?

Matthew 2:23 "So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: 'He will be called a Nazarene.'"

* "He will be called a Nazarene" -Jesus thus saw the lifestyles of the sinful and oppressed people there. Yet he was separated from them. (Genesis 4:26) In this evil town Jesus would be mocked for being righteous. (Psalm 22:6,7) He would be a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering according to Isaiah. Yet God wanted his son there and God worked in such a sinful environment to raise his holy, holy Son. Jesus did this for his father's sake, (Psalm 69:7,8) and through this Jesus would know all of man's agonies. (Hebrews 2:18, 12:1-3, Acts 14:22b)

>9. What can we learn here about the destiny of Jesus and God's directing his life through all these events in his infant period? About the significance of the prophecies being fulfilled?