Today’s reading is: Mt. 2; Lk. 2
Matthew Chapter Two
- Up to two years has gone by in between Matt. 1&2 (Matt. 2:7,16).
- Magi (μάγοι magoi #3097) from the east arrived in Jerusalem for the purpose of worshiping the King of the Jews (Matt. 2:1-12).
- Their number is not stated, nor does Scripture call them kings. The μάγοι magoi were Babylonian & Persian astrologers who had tremendous influence in the eastern thrones (e.g. Dan. 2:2).
- They came in response to “His star.” Likely an angel (commonly called stars).
- This star’s guidance led them to Jerusalem (not Bethlehem) for a public audience with Herod.
- Herod the Great was appointed King of Judea by Antony, Octavius, & the Roman Senate in 37BC and reigned until his death in 4BC.
- Herod was greatly troubled over the birth of a Jewish King (Matt. 2:3). Herod was an Idumean (Edomite) married into the ruling Jewish (Hasmonean) family.
- He knows that this coming King is the expected Christ/Messiah (Matt. 2:4).
- The chief priests and scribes cite the Bethlehem prophecy (Matt. 2:4-6), and the magi provide the two year time-frame (Matt. 2:7).
- Herod attempts to destroy the Seed of the woman according to the location and time-frame specified (Matt. 2:16-18).
- After meeting with King Herod the Magi continued their journey to the Lord.
- They followed the “star” to the very house (οἰκία oikia #3614) where the child (παιδίον paidion #3813) was.
- They worshiped Him, and presented Him with gifts. This does not fulfill Ps. 72:10-11 or other such OT passages.
- They obeyed the dream warning to avoid Herod (v.12).
- Joseph obeys a dream warning, and flees with his family to Egypt (Matt. 2:13-15).
- Following the death of Herod (traditionally 4BC), Joseph obeys additional dream warnings to return to Israel and settle in Galilee (Matt. 2:19-23).
- The circumstances recorded here describe many Old Testament prophecies:
- The star prophecy (Num. 24:17). A Gentile prophecy concerning Israel!
- The Bethlehem prophecy (Mic. 5:2).
- The slaughtered infant prophecy (Jer. 31:15).
- The Egypt prophecy (Hos. 11:1).
- The Nazarene (branch, Heb. netser #5342) prophecy (Isa. 11:1).
- The Galilee prophecy (Isa. 9:1).
Luke Chapter Two
- Luke’s Gospel teaches the birth of Christ from Mary’s viewpoint, and gives us the most human description of it (Lk. 2:1-7).
- Caesar Augustus reigned from 27BC-14AD.
- Herod reigned from 37BC-4BC.
- Quirinius ruled in Syria-Cilicia from 6-9AD. He supervised a census there in 6AD, but likely supervised an earlier census in that same region (Luke’s recorded census).
- Seeming coincidence would make Jesus Christ born in Bethlehem (Lk. 2:7), but God’s directive Will was at work (Mic. 5:2).
- Nearby shepherds are summoned to bear witness to the birth of Christ (Lk. 2:8-20).
- The Lord had provided King Ahaz with a sign in 734BC—a virgin would conceive and bear a son (Isa. 7:14).
- Now the shepherds are provided with a sign—that baby will be found in a manger (Lk. 2:12).
- Angels are summoned to bear witness to the birth of Christ (Lk. 2:13-14).
- Joseph & Mary observed all the requirements of Law in the raising of the humanity of Christ (Lk. 2:22-24,39; Gal. 4:4).
- Two faithful witnesses in the temple identified the Christ and uttered prophecies regarding His mission (Lk. 2:25-38).
- Simeon the Prophet (Lk. 2:25-35). Legend has made him the son of Hillel and father of Gamaliel I, but this has no historical basis.
- Anna the Prophetess (Lk. 2:36-38).
- The humanity of Jesus Christ experienced the same growth process that every human being since Cain has been subject to (Lk. 2:40,52).
- His humanity grew physically, psychologically, and spiritually.
- By volitionally choosing to not exercise His omniscience, Jesus Christ experienced the human learning process.
- The only event in the childhood of Christ to be recorded in Scripture is one of His annual trips to Jerusalem for Passover (Lk. 2:41-51).