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December 22, 2020 12:00 am
Say that you need to understand the earthly origins of Christ are challenging and difficult as you can imagine an outdoor shelter for birthplace's parents have to run as fugitives immigrating to Egypt and then having to move back in and moving in the Galilean locating in Nazareth. They're going to live their lives for the next 29 years or so in challenging obscure listen.
Jesus Christ came in like us to experience trials. It's easy for us to look back with a smile upon the events surrounding Christmas story. That's because were looking back from the perspective of the cross and the empty tomb. We know how it ends.
But imagine what Mary and Joseph must've experienced during the drama while they experienced the delight of being new parents. They also experience confusion, insecurity and fear. They literally found themselves running for their lives today on wisdom for the hard Stephen Devi has a message for you called Israel's most turn to Matthew chapter 2 where you know the Magi, the mag way the wisemen arrived in Jerusalem.
There the spiritual descendents of their revered wise man named Daniel centuries earlier had begun to teach the Scriptures in Babylon winning many converts, including a couple kings, the faith in the Messiah he left enough instruction so that that legacy continue to now, centuries later, you have his spiritual descendents who are longing for a Messiah come from Babylon, Persia, find him. They arrive with an earth shattering message that should have really effectively stopped everything and everybody in their tracks.
Where is he. Verse two who has been born king of the Jews, for we saw his star in the East and have come to worship. We have seen his star. There are good men good women who believe the star was a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, creating a very brilliant light which in fact did some believe in its ellipses. It made the sign of the fish symbol of what would become the Christian faith or church in hiding. Others believe the star was a low hanging meteor Aurora rather erratic comment. I believe it was none of those but it was in fact the Shekinah glory of God.
Both the Hebrew word cut cave and the Greek word stair for star are used often in the Bible to speak of brilliant light. I believe this was the glory of God.
This is the radiant light that they've already seen surrounding the Angels cascading upon the shepherd in those baffling hills look to verse nine.
This is going back into the Old Testament, the pillar of fire by night. Exodus 1321 this is the consuming brilliance or fire of God on the mountaintop. In Exodus 24 were Moses received the law shining face like the sun of Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration in Matthew 17 verse two. This is the brilliant light that knocks off his horse on the way to Damascus and ask chapter 9 verse three. This is what the Old Testament referred to in this analogy as the star that shall come forth from Jacob numbers 2417 and at the end of the New Testament in the book of Revelation is called the bright and morning what*Revelation 22 verse 16 the Shekinah glory is hovering above Jerusalem and the wisemen followed that the guided they come to Jerusalem and the text implies the light turns off so they have to ask where is the kingdom of the Jews living now listen, why not just leave them all the way to Bethlehem, because there are prophecies to fulfill and in this drama there will be blood, toil, tears and sweat, as you know, verse five, Herod calls all the professionals together. Where's he supposed to be born, and they tell him Bethlehem soft Bethlehem. The wisemen go by the way, and astral conjunction a meteor or a comet would not be able to identify a specific house which verse 11 tells us they found an inside that house. Matthew Reitz was the child. The couple of things to point out the word for child despite the it can refer to a newborn baby but most often it signifies a little boy, a toddler, now you also notice that the wisemen did not arrive at a stable verse 11 but I house this is not a manger scene with the baby. This is a neighborhood scene with a toddler, so she tracked the boyhood of Jesus.
Carefully you final Luke, including the details of his birth in Bethlehem to cave stable some outside enclosure were not told specifically for animals. This presentation at the temple at the age of about two months younger than 40 days. According to the law and now Matthew fills in for some puzzle pieces. He informs us that the Joseph and Mary have decided to stay in Bethlehem and why not let the scandal back home with her pregnancy.
So they decided to to make a living here they found a home.
Perhaps the rent. Perhaps Joseph built a accrued hard on borrowed land according to the customs of their culture.
But you discover that Joseph and Mary here in this scene have moved into a house in Bethlehem.
And Jesus is now a toddler, perhaps about a year to year and 1/2 old and what happens next in that scene is the arrival of the wisemen and their entourage is not three wisemen. There were three gifts that we assume there are three probably an entourage of wisemen and certainly a number of soldiers had been sent to protect the value of these get that because a traffic jam in Bethlehem as the Shekinah glory briefly illuminated the house for the little family lived. Once inside, Matthew tells us in verse 11, they see the child idea toddler and they fall down and they worship they gave him gifts Seneca. The Roman philosopher and writer who lived during the days of Christ said that in Persia which is where these men came from. No one ever approached the king without a gift. Seneca Road and gold was the proper gift for the King of men gave frankincense a substance used in temple worship service writer off is always attached to the offer never the sin offering. This referred to the mediatorial work of Christ, the sinless one they gave a murder as well. This was used for embalming the dead. It was a gift of faith, signifying that he had come to die see the shadow of the cross fell over that little living room as these kingmakers gave this God toddler gifts the declared he was king gold that he was the mediator between heaven and earth, frankincense, and that his mission and incoming included dieting murder.
Now you remember they promised Herod that they would return and give him the street address so that he could go and worship Messiah as well. Verse 12 informs us that the Magi went home on a different interstate than the one they came. They were warned of this maniac in Jerusalem why the warning will Herod had decades earlier already been awarded by the Roman Senate, the title King of the Jews he'd done a lot of good for the Jews.
He wanted a favor.
He wanted their affection. He returned taxes to the people during difficult times and that's always a good idea to slow getting there is anybody listening in DC but I cut her throat and just in case he built theaters and racetracks for entertainment rebuilt port cities for commerce was an old man by the time of Christ's birth, most believed historians from his era that tell us he was inflicted with venereal diseases and for the most part. At this point was nearly completely insane fact until he died.
Herod had become insanely jealous of his throne. He murdered every rival. He had, he was a descendent of Esau. He was an Edomites. He married a Jew us to gain favor she was from an aristocratic family try to gain popularity. But after marrying her.
He murdered her. He killed her 17-year-old brother, and then put on a lavish funeral and pretended to we put to death. Several of his own sons in order to stamp out any threat of assassination.
He was a sadistic killer who slaughtered officers and generals and senators and soldiers and citizens that he suspected of any disloyalty. In fact, one historian at a rate of I just recently came to him. He was a veteran of many wars came to Herod and he said listen, you need to understand there isn't a common soldier who doesn't side with your son and many of the officers openly curse you. He thought this would gain favor with Herod. Herod ordered the man put on the rack and stretched until he cried out name after name after name even confess the names of innocent men anything to stop the torture. But Herod pressed them to continue until the man died and Herod rounded up all the accused and had them torn to pieces by his soldiers. And while there being literally hacked to pieces. Historian in that day, says that Herod livid with rage, jumped up and down as he screamed for them to die. Now you can imagine why the wisemen came in Jerusalem. Somewhat na´vely asked where's he is been born king of the Jews had no idea the mad they had encountered they had no idea of the firestorm that they would not by their simple question but don't miss the ironing that the only person in this Jerusalem scene who believe the wisemen was Herod. Verse 13 sets the stage for the first of these three prophecies will cover together will simply call this escape into Egypt.
Matthew chapter 2 verse 13 now when they had gone. That is the Magi. They left, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said get out. Take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt and remained there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to destroy she wants. Herod realized the Magi had gone back a different way. He would only assume that they had warned the parents as well of this one born king of the Jews in the middle of the night Joseph which meant Joseph didn't finish his sleep did not get your family ready. Mary hurried to Jesus dressed, get out the door. The heiress tenses of these birds indicate quick single actions in the middle of the night, get up, get dressed, get out, run, flee time Joseph to pack that card with furniture you carefully made from scratch Mary you have time to gather all the clothes you got to leave the crib you got a Ron Egypt, another time.
You'll find out until I tell you. Verse 14 to Joseph got up and took the child and his mother while it was still night and left for Egypt. He remained there until the death of Herod.
He was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet out Egypt I called my son. In other words, the evil and the hatred of Herod and his murderous attempt to catch and kill the Christ child were given a peak behind the blood, sweat and toil in tears at the sovereign control of God. Guess what, the evil, cruel, insane paranoia of Herod is actually used, to fulfill the predictions of God's word and the purposes of God's will. Don't miss it. This is a hard path. Fortunately don't have money for the trip from the gold just been given but little else. Wait a second, God could've protected Joseph and Mary and Jesus in that house right under the nose of Herod, but he didn't. He chose to protect them by the very ordinary and on miraculous system by means of flight. What this means. This means the will of God.
Men's hardship and suffering he would sustain them through it. She need to understanding the father did not do something for the son and his mother and stepfather that he withholds from you what we sign up for God's angel told him a little bit. This is going to be the fulfillment of my word. Verse 15 out of Egypt I called my son this is this is the fulfillment of one more prophecy that would authenticate the Messiah God said who come out of Egypt and know Egypt becomes their hiding place until Herod dies only pause long enough to tell you that Jesus is is becoming that a picture of Israel's calling from that same country, Israel was often spoken of as sons of God, or even the son of God. Hosea 11 verse one. So these son of God will illustrate Israel's deliverance, but there's even more that Jesus Christ will not only illustrate Israel and their deliverance. He will illustrate the deliverer.
Remember, there had been another deliver this one born in Egypt. He also avoided a death warrant by the king who commanded that all the Jewish baby boys be what killed, murdered Pharaoh.
This king ordered the killing of all Jewish males. Moses was hidden away by his quick acting parents eventually led the people out of bondage, but this deliverer according to Hebrews chapter 3 is the greater Moses.
They both came out of Egypt.
They both lead their people out of bondage. But the deliverance of Moses was temporary and and insufficient, the deliverance of Jesus Christ is terminal and sufficient to go back to Matthew to verse 16 of the second prophecy that is about to be tragically fulfilled. The text says then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the Magi, he became very enraged and he sent any slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity from two years old and on. According to the time which he had determined from the Magi than what had been spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled a voice was heard in room, weeping and great morning, Rachel weeping for her children. She refused to be comforted, because they were no of the actions of Herod the five our imagination. He's around 70 years of age. Here is diseased crippled is infected with untreatable diseases. Infected historians record during his lifetime that his intestines were rotting from the inside out. His bodyguards had to rotate frequently because they could not bear the Stange of even being around his positions couldn't heal them. The warm baths he ordered couldn't sue them. His body is covered with ulcers his legs to swollen physicians that his ankles were 9 inches around but he will not leave his throne. Even though he knows his death is imminent. He said he grasps his power. He is frankly the perfect picture of depraved stubborn mankind. That will not bow until the day they die, or even afterwards too late one of his final orders is to round up hundreds of prominent Jewish citizens, they are arrested or placed in the arena.
Soldiers were told to feed and give them water, but keep them alive. Keep them locked in. He ordered his troops that on the day he died.
These Jews, prominent Jews were to be killed as commander survived the centuries he said and I quote when I die, the Jews may not mourn me, but by God's they will for now there's great morning in Bethlehem. Historical demographers estimate that there were probably 30 or more children under the age of two in Bethlehem and surrounding areas during and in the century instead of the religious leaders of the rabbis, all rushing to Bethlehem the crown the young Messiah as their king.
The soldiers of Herod have stampeded into the village of Bethlehem and the surrounding areas, taking little boys from their mother's arms and putting them to Rachel is weeping she is weeping for her children misrepresented all Jewish mothers who wept over Israel's great tragedy in the days of the deportation. This is a quote from from Jeremiah.
They waft as their little ones were taken away. That then is the foreshadowing of the mothers in Bethlehem in this region. Who will we over the massacring of their little boys. But don't miss this, Herod's crime is even more wicked because he knew the little boy he was trying to kill was the king of the Jews, the Messiah and Herod died. By the way just to close up that one loop is sister and her husband were supposed to be the ones to signal the soldiers at the arena to begin killing the prominent Jews, but instead they win personally and open the doors of the arena and allow the Jews to go for it. I couldn't help but think of that irony. When the final Antichrist is killed the Jewish nation will be fully free. We want more prophecy to fulfill him to call his next probably going to wrap it up fairly quickly or it will we we've seen the escape into Egypt and that prophecy, verse 15 with a bloodbath in Bethlehem and that prophecy, verse eight, and now we have one call for our outline. Simply nobodies in nowhere because that's who they work and that's where they were living to come back to this by the way, in detail.
As we talk about a where they were living in a deal with Nazareth, the upbringing of Jesus and what it meant to be raised Ivorian title to study parenting the perfect child. I don't have any illustration I can think of on the planet. There are none that I want to explore review. His upbringing and as a now analysis. Find out how they got there. This first 19 but when Herod died but hold an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said get up, take the child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel, that sounds familiar. Done it again in the middle of the night for Joseph can get a night's sleep. Here comes again. What a difference in this text is the lack of urgency. It was a dream he could finish his sleep.
There's no need to fully no need to run. No need to panic and need to hide the need to figure.
In fact, notice the reassuring message the angel delivers at the end of verse verse 20, he tells them for those who sought the child's life are dead. Interestingly don't have time it's plural. It didn't just Herod somebody and many others who wanted him to their all gone their dead. How the text tells us. Verse 21. So Joseph got up and took the child and his mother and came in to the land of Israel was headed there now something happens that strikes his heart with fear when he heard the R Kelly Haas was raining over Judea in the place of his father Herod. He was afraid to go there, why not I would have been to. You need to understand that R.
Kelly Haas is worse than his father can imagine it. In fact, he inaugurated his reign by killing 3000 Jews in the temple at Passover's rain was so despicable that even a Gustus Roman Emperor who was no saint himself banished Kelly after nine years of atrocities. So Joseph has every reason there you are traveling as a reassurance. He's headed back. And suddenly he hears news. Maybe it's another traveler so he tell you all believers on the front R Kelly Haas is stricken with fear. God delivers to him a little more information is worn by God in another dream.
Verse 22. The latter part the left of the regions of Galilee came and lived in the city called Nazareth.
Another words, here's where you live, you pick is a large region there's a lot of real estate and you pick your little town where you want to be in Joseph just so happened to choose Nasser and guess what verse 23 tells us this fulfilled what was spoken through the prophets, he shall be called a Nazarene.
This is not where you would expect to find God the son, but I want to say that because you need to understand the earthly origins of Christ are as challenging and difficult as you can imagine an outdoor shelter for birthplace. His parents have to run as fugitives run for their lives immigrating to Egypt and then having to move back and then moving in the Galilean in locating in an Nazareth. They're going to live their lives for the next 29 years or so in normal, challenging, obscure lesson Jesus Christ became one of us. In fact, I want to understand what I say this, he's he's actually more ordinary than any of us.
He chose to come in as low as low could be in his humiliation.
Joseph and Mary to tell you what character right what character would obedience with perseverance, what confusion, what pain with fear what danger what desperation as they clung to brief announcements without most of the details as they move from place to place to place to place.
One author I read recently said as he traveled in England, he saw and a graveyard of the tombstone of an old cavalier soldier who lost his property and in his life and fighting for the king veteran of many wars faithful. He was a loyalist. The King Charles his epitaph read simply this, he served King Charles with a constant dangerous and expensive lawyer in the what a great testimony for the Christian who allows the shadow of the cross to fall across his or her path. What a testimony of allegiance to serve our king with a constant dangerous expensive loyalty. No matter what the cost. Blood sweat and toil in tears or salvation results in the end of your difficult the Christian life is not always easy for us in life certainly wasn't easy for the author and founder of our faith. Jesus Christ himself, I hope this time in God's word is challenged you today as you consider for yourself what really following Christ might mean, and cost.
Thanks for joining us today. This is wisdom for the heart. The Bible teaching ministry of Stephen Davey Stevens message today is called Israel's most wanted and it comes from his series beyond Bethlehem we turn this series into a booklet and if you'd like to have it in your library of biblical resources. You'll find it on our website. Wisdom online.we can also help you personally.
If you call us at 86 648 Bible 866-482-4253 I'm Scott Wiley and for Steven and all of us here. Thanks for listening. Join us again tomorrow for more wisdom for the