Bible Study: Matthew chapter 2
Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judaea. Around the time that Jesus was born, some wise men from the East saw a star in the sky and followed it all the way to Jerusalem.
The wise men were said to be royal astrologers and some other historical texts say they were also kings.
When the wise men got to Jerusalem they looked for Jesus, referring to Him as the ‘newborn king of the Jews’.
At that time, King Herod was ruling as king.
This greatly troubled Herod, so he asked his own men to tell him all about what was prophesied about this ‘King of the Jews’.
So they told him that this new king would be born in Bethlehem, according to prophecy.
“But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel, whose origins are in the distant past, will come from you on my behalf. The people of Israel will be abandoned to their enemies until the woman in labor gives birth. Then at last his fellow countrymen will return from exile to their own land. And he will stand to lead his flock with the Lord’s strength, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. Then his people will live there undisturbed, for he will be highly honored around the world. And he will be the source of peace.”
Micah 5:2–5 NLT
King Herod then informed these wise men and sent them off to find this newborn king and asked for a favour:
‘When you find him, tell me where he is so that I’d worship him as well’
But this was not King Herod’s plan. His desire was to kill any one who was a threat to his position on the throne.
The wise men kept following the star they saw till they got to Bethlehem and they eventually found Jesus at the spot where the star stopped. They were overjoyed and they bowed before Jesus and presented gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
“Vast caravans of camels will converge on you, the camels of Midian and Ephah. The people of Sheba will bring gold and frankincense and will come worshiping the Lord.”
Isaiah 60:6 NLT
After their visit, they went back to their hometown but took another route in order to avoid King Herod.
God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.
After the wise men had gone, an Angel from God spoke to Joseph in a dream and told him to take Jesus and Mary and quickly escape to Egypt because, Jesus’ life was in danger. Joseph did as he was told and they stayed in Egypt until Herod died.
Herod was furious when he realized that the wise men did not return back to him and he ordered that all the sons in Bethlehem that were 2 years old and younger be put to death. This action, though brutal also fulfilled what was prophesied by Jeremiah
“This is what the Lord says: “A cry is heard in Ramah — deep anguish and bitter weeping. Rachel weeps for her children, refusing to be comforted — for her children are gone.””
Jeremiah 31:15 NLT
After Herod died, an angel spoke to Joseph and told him to return back to Israel.
Joseph returned back and he and his family settled in Nazareth and this was also in fulfillment of what the prophets had said.
Isn’t it weird how it seems like God ran away from Herod? I mean, He’s God, He could’ve just destroyed Herod with the snap of His fingers.
But, He apparently did this to ensure that prophecy was fulfilled as well.
“When Israel was a child, I loved him, and I called my son out of Egypt.”
Hosea 11:1 NLT
God is truly a God of His words. He does not go back on the thing He has said.
Every little detail that occurred happened according to God’s plan and design.
And God truly doesn’t allow things happen without first revealing it to us in some way.
“Indeed, the Sovereign Lord never does anything until He reveals his plans to His servants the prophets.”
Amos 3:7 NLT