Summary: Many times we think of Mary’s role in the birth of Jesus, but Matthew records the difficult road Joseph had to travel in protecting this little life that the enemy wanted to snuff out.
Have you noticed that the first chapters of Matthew are really Joseph’s story? Luke records Mary’s version of events and has her genealogy, but Matthew one is Joseph’s lineage, and her in Chapter 2 we find God again speaking to Joseph about caring for the safety of the Messiah.
As a father, the care and well being of your family is paramount. We have an innate need to provide for them. Matthew was basically a contractor
What is Matthew’s point? The case for Jesus as the king and Messiah. Kings from other countries recognized him (like they did for Solomon), and even Herod has a sneaking suspicion that Jesus is the Messiah.
The thread of the Messiah still hangs by a thread, but God in his sovereignty protects it.
1 – 12
One thing that strikes out at me was that the religious leaders of the day knew very well where Messiah would be born. But the fact that it was possible the Messiah had actually come, signified by this supernaturally inspired road trip of the wise men, didn’t move them. Either they had head knowledge but not heart, or there had been so many messiah’s at the time that they dismissed it. Either course is not wise when trying to find God. It doesn’t mean you delve into every religion, but it does mean you search for the truth with all of your heart.
In John 1 Nathanael is talking to Philip who says “can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Nathanael replies “come and see.” The wise men came and saw, the religious leaders stayed home and missed it, and in fact became Jesus’ enemies.
Wise Men Myths
The wise men were not present at the manger
Why? Jesus is spoken of as a “child” (different Greek word than in Luke 2), the men come to a “house” not a stable, Herod wants all babies under 2 years old to be killed.
They were not kings, they have no names, and we don’t know where they came from or how many there were.
Tradition says they came from Parthia, site of ancient Babylon. If so, they could have been wise men like Daniel encountered (Dan 2:12) which would have made them astronomers and dream interpreters. We assume there were three because of the gifts, but that is an assumption.
What is significant is the fact they came and the gifts they brought.
Israel’s own ruler (though he was only half Israeli) sought to kill the baby king, while foreign officials sought to worship him. When Solomon became king of Israel, Hiram, king of Tyre acknowledged Solomon’s place as king.
Gold—a gift for a king (Psalm 72:15 “…may the gold of Sheba be given him!”)
Frankincense—a gift for deity (Isaiah 60:6 “all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense and shall bring good news, the praises of the Lord” speaking of the future glory of Jerusalem as the home of the King of Kings)
Myrrh—a spice used in embalming. (John 19:39 Nicodemus brought myrrh and aloes to embalm Jesus)
So the gifts are for a king, who is God, who will die. Hmmm. I wonder who that could be? Jesus the Messiah, the king. The gifts would also have provided financially for this young family to go to Egypt and back.