Summary: Matthew 2 The infancy of Jesus
Today we continue with Matt and look at chapter 2. Revision from last time: who can remember Matthew 1? What was it about? Birth of Jesus Christ. 1st half of chapter 1 – His genealogy. It showed He fulfilled the requirements to be Messiah – Son of David, Son of Abraham, but genetically not son of Joseph – whose Son? - Son of God. Then in 2nd half gives more details - Jesus’ conception is not from a man but from the Holy Spirit in a mysterious way we cannot understand. But according to Jewish law, Joseph “adopts” Him (names him, takes Mary as his wife) so Jesus’ shares Joseph’s genealogy as a descendent of David. Jesus’ birth fulfills a number of OT prophecies and in 1.23 we saw one of these
from Isaiah 7:14.
Chapter 2 which we look at today has a few more. Jesus is of divine origin – come from God in order to save us from our sins. Matthew 1.23 “Emmanual” – God with us. Matthew 1.21 “Jesus” = “The Lord Saves” – He came to save His people from their sins. But who are His people? Who are Jesus’ people? The Jews? That’s what the Jews thought. Now we go into chapter 2 and we see more interesting things. We start to see who really are God’s people. We see Jesus as the true king of the Jews as opposed to an imposter who claimed to be king of the Jews. We see Jesus’ birth and infancy fulfil a number of Old Testament prophecies in remarkable ways. We can see the sovereignty of God over everything - even over the evil plans of evil men who would try and kill Jesus.
Chapter 2 famous at Christmastime. Matthew 2:1-12 - It has the story of the magi – wise men who came from the East to give gifts to the baby Jesus. Verses 13-18 - It has the flight/escape to Egypt. Verses 19-23 - It has the return to Israel and Jesus’ family settling in Nazareth. These three stories form the natural divisions in this chapter. But overriding all, we see God’s protection over the young Jesus. Not only this – but this is part of the plan – fulfilling scripture. From capter 2 we can learn more about who Jesus is. Who He is for. And we can learn about the sovereignty of God – nothing can disrupt His purposes.
Chapter 1 finishes with a very brief account of Jesus’ birth – basically He was born and Joseph named Him “Jesus” – that’s all! Nothing about stables or no room at the inn – that’s all in Luke. Matthew says very little about the circumstances of Jesus’ birth.
Then as we open chapter 2 – it is set after the birth of Jesus. How long we don’t know but sometime within 2 years after his birth (2.16). So lets now have a close look chapter 2
Matthew 2:1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:
6 “ ‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’ ”
7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.
13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 14 And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt 15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”