Matthew 2: Today’s Chapter

April 24, 2021 in Today's Reading by TGV

Matthew 2: Bible Reading Plan/ The Book of Matthew 2/ Theme: The Visit of the Magi (1–12); The Flight Into Egypt (13–15); The Massacre of the Innocents (16–18); The Return to Nazareth (19–23).


 

Matthew 2 (NKJV) — 1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: 6But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.7 Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.” 9 When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way. 13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.” 14 When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, 15 and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.” 16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying: 18A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted, Because they are no more.” 19 Now when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.” 21 Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee. 23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”


 

INTRODUCTION.

The Book of Matthew 2/ Introduction/ 40-BSG-2C/ The King of the Jews Born in the City of David (2:1–12)

“The first point Matthew needs to establish in his “geographical apologetic” for the origins of the Messiah is that Jesus “of Nazareth” was in fact born where the Messiah must be born, in the Davidic town of Bethlehem. Central to this first infancy story therefore is the combined quotation of Mic 5:2 and 2 Sam 5:2 which identifies the Messiah’s birthplace specifically as Bethlehem in Judah, and the surrounding narrative explains how this was in fact the birthplace of Jesus, even though subsequent events (equally attested to both by scriptural quotation and by divine guidance in dreams) were to dictate his relocation to Nazareth in Galilee.

But there is more to being born in Bethlehem than a correct geographical origin. If Bethlehem is the town of David, a “son of David” born there is born to be “King of the Jews” (as the “book of origin” in 1:1–17 with its royal dynastic focus has already indicated). This title will not reappear in Matthew’s narrative until chapter 27, when it will sum up the political charge against Jesus. There, as here, it will be used only by non-Jews; Jews themselves will use the more theologically loaded equivalents “king of Israel,” “Messiah,” and “Son of David.” But whereas in the circumstances of ch. 27, with Jesus a prisoner on trial and going to execution, there is a sharp irony about the title “King of the Jews,” here in v. 2 it has no such connotation. It is the Gentile way of saying what a Jew would mean by “Messiah” (the term which Herod, who could hardly refer to someone else as “king of the Jews,” substitutes in v. 5).” — [R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew, The New International Commentary on the New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publication Co., 2007), 61].


 

TEACHING OUTLINE.

Bible Study Guide/ Teaching Outline/ Matthew 2, (40-BSG-2E)/ Theme: The Visit of the Magi (1–12); The Flight Into Egypt (13–15); The Massacre of the Innocents (16–18); The Return to Nazareth (19–23).

An Overview: Matthew continues his narrative of Jesus’ birth by introducing the Wise Men from the East who secure two interviews with king Herod. Herod arrogantly thinks that He is the “only” legitimate king. But as the Book progresses, there is indeed a “new King” whose kingdom is not of this World, but the Heaven. Matthew fills this narrative with scriptural quotations from the OT prophecy  — (Mic 5:2; cf. Matt 2:6; Hos 11:1 cf. Mt 2:15; and Jer. 31:15 cf. Mt. 2:18) — asserting that Jesus Christ is indeed the anticipated Messiah, King of the Jews. Thus, he links the Jesus’ story to Israel’s Scriptures, the Old Testament.

Characters: God, Jesus, Joseph, Mary, Herod, Chief Priests, Scribes, Wise Men, Archelaus.

Key Text: “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” (Mt 2:2).

Key Word: The Star of Bethlehem, (Mt 2: 2, 9, 10)

Striking Verses: Matthew 2:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9, 10-11, 12, 13-15, 16, 17-18, 19-21, 22, 23.

Division of Main Points — Bethlehem: Herod versus the Magi (2:1–12)/ The Flight to Egypt (2:13–15)/ Ramah: Weeping for Dead Children (2:16–21)/ Nazareth: Coming Home to Obscurity (2:19–23).

Biblical Events – [Events Occurring]: Jesus’ life before ministry, (Mt 1:18–3:12); Wise men arrive in Jerusalem, (Mt 2:1–8); Wise men come to Bethlehem, (Mt 2:9–12); Flight to Egypt, (Mt 2:13–15); Jesus, Mary and Joseph flee to Egypt, (Mt 2:13–20); Herod kills Bethlehem’s children, (Mt 2:16–18); An angel appears to Joseph in Egypt, (Mt 2:19–20); Jesus returns from Egypt to Nazareth, (Mt 2:21–23); Jesus’ youth, (Mt 2:21–23).

Biblical Phrases – “Where is He who has been born?” (2:2); “gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (2:11); “Out of Egypt I called My Son” (2:15); “Arise, take the young Child and His mother” (2:13, 20); “He shall be called a Nazarene” (2:23).

Issues for Further Study – Angel of the Lord, Herod & Herodian Dynasty, Human Nature of Christ, Jesus’ Fulfillment of Old Testament Prophecy, Political Leaders in the New Testament, Jesus: the Nazarenes (Mt 2:23).

Striking Facts: [A] The Wise Men’s public meeting with King Herod (2:1–6)

  • Their request: “Where is the newborn King of the Jews?” (Mt 2:2)
  • Herod’s reaction: He is greatly troubled (Mt 2:3).
  • Herod’s Demands: He gathers all ‘Chief Priests and Scribes’ to tell him where the Messiah will be born (2:4).
  • The Chief Priests and Scribes disclose the place – “Bethlehem of Judea” (Mt 2:5).
  • Prophecy Fulfilled (Mt 2:6). This was the OT prediction through prophet Micah (Micah 5:2).

[B] The Wise Men’s private meeting with King Herod (2:7–8)

  • Herod’s Demand: He asks them when they first saw the star (Mt 2:7).
  • Herod’s Deception: He says, “When you find the child, tell me, so that I can worship him, too.” (Mt 2:8)
  • The Witness of the Star: It leads the Wise Men to the very house where Jesus is living, (Mt 2:9).
  • Their Joy: ”When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy, (Mt 2:10).
  • Their Worship: They present Him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Mt 2:11-11).
  • The Warning: They are told to bypass Herod en route to their home (Mt 2:12).

[C] Joseph takes Mary and the young Jesus to Egypt.

  • The Reasons for the trip – To flee the wrath of Herod: Joseph is warned by God in a dream that Herod will try to kill Jesus, (2:13–14)/ 2. To fulfill the words of Hosea (Hos. 11:1). This Old Testament prophet foretold the trip to Egypt (Mt 2:15).
  • The Retaliation during the trip – Herod kills all the male babies in Bethlehem in an attempt to eliminate Jesus (Mt 2:16)/ 2. Fulfilment of Jeremiah’s prophecy (Jer. 31:15). Long before it happened, Jeremiah predicted the Bethlehem massacre (Mt 2:17–18).
  • The Return from the trip: Joseph receives two more dreams – In the First Dream, Joseph is told that Herod is now dead and that he should depart from Egypt with his family, (Mt 2:19–21)/ In the Second Dream, Joseph is told that he should dwell in Nazareth, (Mt 2:22–23).

Key Thought: Jesus was the beginner of a new Era, a New Testament. He was the founder of a new kingdom: the Kingdom of Divine Grace, followed by the Kingdom of Glory (when He appears, a Second Time). Jesus Christ was hailed as the King at His birth and at His dying (on His cross) – we will develop these themes as we journey through the Book. But for the purpose of this Lesson, it was the Magi (Wise Men) who broke the tidings of this new-born King to a pagan Herod. The Scriptures says — “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.” (Matthew 2:11, ESV)

Beloved, God’s Word is sure – those who diligently seek the LORD shall find Him (Isa 55:5; Jer. 29:12-14; Mt 7:7-8). Even today, wise men and women who desire to seek Christ will always find Him. Solomon said, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”— (Pr. 15:33). The wise men were anxious to see Christ. Because Christ was King, they didn’t come empty handed; the brought precious gifts, at the time. What about you and me today? What have we brought to Jesus?  Are we anxious to be with Him? To adore and worship Him? To obey and render selfless service Him? Remember: “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” (Mt 9:37). What kind of fruits/ gifts do you bring to Him today?

Admonitions: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:1–2, NKJV) “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,” (Ephesians 5:18–19, NKJV) “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22–23, NKJV)


Warm Up Questions:

  1. What is the main content of this chapter?
  2. What does the chapter say about God?
  3. Who was King Herod? How many ‘Herods’ do you know from the Bible? (2:1)
  4. Who were the Magi? And why are they called ‘Wise Men?’ (2:1)
  5. I thought the Bible forbids the practice astrology. Why did God bless the Magi? (2:2)
  6. Can we obtain guidance from the stars today? (2:2)
  7. Why would the Chief Priests and Scribes’ disclose the location of Messiah’s birth to Herod? (2:4).
  8. I though God is powerful than the earthly king Herod? Why sending the Babe to Egypt? Was He afraid of Herod? (2:13)
  9. What did it mean to be called a Nazarene? (2:23)
  10. What do you think is the main point God is making by including this chapter in the Bible?
  11. What response do you think this chapter should inspires us to do?

 


THE END: Welcome for Answers, Comments, or further Discussion. Feel free to use the Bible, Commentaries, etc. Blessings!

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