Saturday, December 19
Read Matthew 2:19-21
When Herod died, and it was safe to return, God called Joseph to bring Jesus back to Israel. So, Joseph and Mary loaded the donkey again, and moved into the town of Nazareth, where Jesus lived until He began His ministry.
Each person in the Christmas story had to decide what to do about the Messiah who had come.
- While they certainly did not understand it all, Joseph and Mary loved their new baby, and they risked their own lives and everything they had to protect Him.
- When the Shepherds heard the angelic choir proclaim His birth, they left their flocks, which was unheard of in that day, and went to Bethlehem to find Him.
- When the wise men saw the glory of God in the sky, they knew God was up to something, and they left their families and invested their fortunes to find Him.
- When the Jews in Jerusalem heard about His birth, they were troubled, because He wasn’t the kind of King they were looking for, and they had become quite comfortable in their religion.
- When Herod heard about Him, he was furious, and made plans to kill Him.
- Everyone must make their own decision about this Christ-child. The question is what will YOU do with Him?
It is important for us to see that several Biblical prophecies were fulfilled in this chapter:
- Jesus was born in Bethlehem, fulfilling the prophecy of Micah 5:2.
- Jesus was brought out of Egypt, fulfilling the prophecy of Hosea 11:1.
- Jesus lived in Nazareth, fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah 11:1.
It is also important for us to see several Biblical principles we need to obey:
- God does not give the believer a road map with every stop along the way or even the point of destination. But rather He leads the believer step by step, in order to keep us dependent upon Him, and not our plans.
- His goal is to strengthen our faith and trust in Him.
- Believers need to wait upon God before making a move. Waiting is a part of learning obedience. When we take the first step of obedience, God will show us the second step, and tell us when to take it.
- Parents sow the seed of life or death into their children. Herod was a ruthless, murderous maniac, and his son, Archelaus followed in his footsteps. Joseph was a lover of God, faithful to his wife, his family, and obedient to God’s call upon his life. Even though he was always aware that Jesus was God’s Son, he cherished the time with Him, and trained Him as if He was his own; even saving funds for Jesus to attend school when He turned 15. When Jesus was only 12, Joseph died from an accident, but not before he had raised Jesus to assume responsibility for His mother and the rest of the family.