Escape to Egypt and Return to Nazareth

Escape into Egypt and murder of boys in Bethlehem — Matthew 2:13-18

Return to Nazareth — Matthew 2:19-23

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One Reply to “Escape to Egypt and Return to Nazareth”

  1. Today’s reading begins with “When they had gone” (Matthew 2:13) which gives us an indication that God wanted the Magi to visit, that they somehow played a role in the announcement and recognition of Jesus’ birth. I’m not sure I focused on this part of the verse before since the theme of the paragraph is more to do with Joseph being faithful in listening to the angel and escaping to Egypt, but it never ceases to amaze me how God orchestrates events while allowing us free will to make choices. There is always tension when trying to discern God’s will. It seems he wants us to freely choose his way, we pray that in the Lord’s Prayer, “thy will be done,” but he honors our requests and encourages us to pray for him to engage in our daily lives. As we spend more time with God in prayer and reading, I think we gain understanding and therefore ask more appropriate questions, but I’ll never be completely free from my human nature, so mistakes will continue. Frustrating at times. I mean to do what is right, but words slip out, glances or other body language deceives me and I’m guilty of sinning again. Ridiculous. I should know better, but I say things in ways that advance my agenda above the needs of others because I’m doing something “important” at the moment. My greatest challenge is keeping perspective on daily situations.

    Joseph is attuned to God’s voice and listens to the angel without question or pause, they escape to Egypt in the night and avoid Herod’s crazed lashing out at all children in that once quiet little town. The grief that must have been felt, Herod “gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under” (Matthew 2:16).

    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.  Jeremiah 31:15

    How incredibly sad! I found this article helpful in understanding the context of these passages: A learned Biblical scholar provides some excellent insights and connection points for the text. I have so much to learn.

    Joseph ends up with his little family in the town of Nazareth, apparently a town of no significance, and Jesus grows up without any particular notice from the likes of Herod’s successors. “So fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene” (Matthew 2:23) is not actually found in the text of the prophets, at least not by name. To draw this conclusion requires a broad understanding of the teaching of the prophets in total, it’s a statement of summation that collectively concludes Jesus will be of humble beginnings, the shoot from the stump of Jesse rather than the Prince from the bloodline of King David.  The comparison is significant and plays a vital role in our understanding of how Jesus could grow up without notice until his time had come.

    Lord, I thank you for your words and the wisdom of others who have devoted their lives to understanding the Bible. Every morning I’m refreshed to hear your words. Teach me to share this with others, to always point them to you!

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