Summary: The purpose of these Christmas stories, as recorded by the authors of the gospels, is to remind us that the silent, holy night of unnatural calm that we celebrate on Christmas is really the point of the eye of the storm.
The Christmas season would be over next week.... “AFTER THE ADVENT SEASON... NOW WHAT?” Let’s follow the footsteps of the Family as they continue their trek to God’s plans and purposes.... for His Glory.... It is also in great relation and realization for everyone of us here as we enter 2019.... let this preaching be our protection for the rest of the coming year.
I- PROTECTION BY PREDICTION: vv.5, 15, 17, 23
Four prophecies of more than 700 years Old Testament fulfilled in one chapter of the New Testament! The keyword in Matthew 2 was FULFILLED! God works His will despite the opposition of sinful people. Earthly kings like Herod may try to circumvent the divine purpose, but in the end they are always defeated. What was true in the first advent of Jesus will also hold true to us as we enter 2019 and definitely in Jesus’ 2nd advent.
”Matthew chapter 2 is a prophecy indicating the progression of the new history. It quickly reveals the condition of things which will occur around this King from the period following His first advent, until His second advent. It is a microcosm of the Christian age, revealing principles that abide unto this hour.” (from: abideinChrist.com).
Which we have studied last Sunday and for the last 2 weeks. Here in Matthew, the apostle points out that Bethlehem was insignificant among the thousands of Judah, but from this town came the Mighty Ruler of Israel. He is specific that it is Bethlehem of Judea, not Bethlehem in Zebulon. This Ruler will “Shepherd”His people like David. Just as youthful David had been an insignificant shepherd in this small village and God exalted him to be a king of Israel, so this insignificant village the Messiah would be born and crowned with glory. God raised him from being a shepherd of lambs to the shepherd of the nation. The Ruler proceeding from Bethlehem is the Messiah. The Shepherd of all shepherds...
The Almighty Shepherd of our souls...
"When Israel was a youth I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son" (Hosea 11:1, NASB)
"Thus says the Lord, 'A voice is heard in Ramah, Lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; She refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more" (Jeremiah 31:15, NASB)
4- "He shall be called a Nazarene" (Matthew 2:23)
Matthew found another fulfilment of prophecy in this choice of residence. The apostle obviously takes it as a fulfilment of prophecy that Jesus moved to Nazareth. The only problem for us is that Matthew does not explain how he came to that conclusion. Perhaps the best explanation is found in the suggestion a "shoot," or "branch" (Isa. 11:1). Jesus was not a Nazirite. The expression "Jesus the Nazarene" carried with it overtones of contempt. Jesus was despised and rejected. A. T. Robertson says, "It may be that this term of contempt (John 1:46; 7:52) is what is meant, and that several prophecies are to be combined like Psa. 22:6, 8; 69:11, 19; Isa. 53:2, 3, 4. The name Nazareth means a shoot or branch, but it is by no means certain that Matthew has this in mind. It is best to confess that we do not know." Matthew introduces the statement as having been "spoken by the prophets" may be an indication that he was pointing out a truth in general terms that is true from what the prophets had taught. Matthew seems to have in mind a number of the prophets when he speaks of the Nazarene. (abideinChrist.com)
I gave a distinctive background on these predictions, because the first family after Advent had followed unknowingly, these prophecies to the letter for their protection on the coming days ahead....for us, it would also lay down our foundation for 2019....as it is written; Ecc. 1:9 “What has happened before will happen again. What has been done before will be done again. There is nothing new in the whole world
10 "Look," they say, "here is something new!" But no, it has all happened before, long before we were born.
11 No one remembers what has happened in the past, and no one in days to come will remember what happens between now and then.
That is why we should dig deep into the Word... Never been a time in the history that the Bible had been this easy to get from the bookstore to the cybernet... truly, “...shut up the Words, and seal the Book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.”
The events are happening too fast. Imagine this: Four prophecies of 700years plus vintage all happening in one chapter of Matthew! And that was 3 A.D. more or less! We are now entering 2019 A.D.! Events are happening too fast, the love of many for God is growing cold.... the worst became worsts... the knowledge is increasing by the seconds and “...people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!” (2 Timothy 3:2-5 NLT)