Summary: This sermon should motivate people to see that God was directing the events at the incarnation and He has given us directions as well.
(4 of 4 in the series “Jesus our Messiah” – Matthew 1-2)
Text: Matthew 2:12-23 - Date: December 17, 2006
We see here in this narrative section of Scripture that there was a lot of Divine Directions taking place. God seemed to be directing all these events that were taking place so that Messiah would be protected from the enemy and be at the place God planned for Him to be.
How about you? Have you heard Divine Directions from God’s Word? Are you following those directions? Are you walking with Him? Most of us men take some heat for our adventurous personalities, but we will see that these men in our study this morning were certainly adventurous, yet wise enough to heed direction from God, are you?
1. Go home! (v.12)
And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
We see here in this verse that the Magi received Divine Directions as they were warned by God not to go back to Herod with the report that he had requested of them. So they returned to their country by another route. Do you think that this was a safe plan for them when you consider the reputation of the blood-thirsty tyrant Herod? He would surely have killed them if he would have found them. Yet despite the risk of disobeying Herod’s instructions, they boldly chose to obey the instructions from God.
2. Go to Egypt! (v.13)
When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him."
Just think, no more had the Magi left the house, did an angel of the Lord appear to Joseph with Divine Directions to pack up his family and head off to Egypt because Herod was searching for the child to kill him. Joseph had heard from this angel before and he knew, this was serious business, so he needed to get up and move quickly. This was not the time to hit the snooze button.
The angel told Joseph to stay in Egypt until he was notified otherwise. You talk about precise directions. Do you think there was there any doubt that there was purpose for their lives?
These series of events led right into the fulfillment of prophecy recorded in Hosea 11:1, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
Once Herod realized that the Magi were not coming back with a report for him, he was furious. And in his anger, true to his nature, he ordered the slaughter of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years of age and younger. This was a horrible thing that took place that once again proves more than ever the tremendous need the world had for a Savior. Bad things still happen, but hope in the Lord brings peace even in the midst of the storm.
3. Go to Israel! (V.19-21)
After Herod died, 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 to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead." So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel.
Well, true to his word, the angel came back with more Divine Directions for Joseph, that it was time for them to head back to Israel because Herod had died. Can you imagine the tremendous faith that Joseph and Mary had to have to just put their lives on hold all that time and be completely submissive to God’s plan?
It kind of makes our coming out for 9:30 a.m. Bible Discovery classes on Sundays and our 7:00 p.m. mid-week service on Wednesdays seem pretty trivial doesn’t it? Our church would be stronger if we had to make more sacrifices like Joseph and Mary did. Our church has become so comfortable, controlled and convenient that we must make God sick.
The early church were risk takers preaching the gospel when they knew that persecution was certain. We have made the mistake in our culture thinking that our comfort is a blessing, but I have come to the realization that it is not, because in our cozy contentment lives in our communities are left unchanged and untouched for Christ!
4. Go to Galilee! (V.22-23)
But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: "He will be called a Nazarene."