Daily reading

Today’s reading is: Mt. 2; Lk. 2


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Matthew Chapter Two

  1. Up to two years has gone by in between Matt. 1&2 (Matt. 2:7,16).
  2. Magi (μάγοι magoi #3097) from the east arrived in Jerusalem for the purpose of worshiping the King of the Jews (Matt. 2:1-12).
    1. 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).
    2. They came in response to “His star.”  Likely an angel (commonly called stars).
    3. This star’s guidance led them to Jerusalem (not Bethlehem) for a public audience with Herod.
  3. Herod the Great was appointed King of Judea by Antony, Octavius, & the Roman Senate in 37BC and reigned until his death in 4BC.
    1. 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.
    2. He knows that this coming King is the expected Christ/Messiah (Matt. 2:4).
    3. 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).
    4. Herod attempts to destroy the Seed of the woman according to the location and time-frame specified (Matt. 2:16-18).
  4. After meeting with King Herod the Magi continued their journey to the Lord.
    1. They followed the “star” to the very house (οἰκία oikia #3614) where the child (παιδίον paidion #3813) was.
    2. They worshiped Him, and presented Him with gifts.  This does not fulfill Ps. 72:10-11 or other such OT passages.
    3. They obeyed the dream warning to avoid Herod (v.12).
  5. Joseph obeys a dream warning, and flees with his family to Egypt (Matt. 2:13-15).
  6. Following the death of Herod (traditionally 4BC), Joseph obeys additional dream warnings to return to Israel and settle in Galilee (Matt. 2:19-23).
  7. The circumstances recorded here describe many Old Testament prophecies:
    1. The star prophecy (Num. 24:17).  A Gentile prophecy concerning Israel!
    2. The Bethlehem prophecy (Mic. 5:2).
    3. The slaughtered infant prophecy (Jer. 31:15).
    4. The Egypt prophecy (Hos. 11:1).
    5. The Nazarene (branch, Heb. netser #5342) prophecy (Isa. 11:1).
    6. The Galilee prophecy (Isa. 9:1).

Luke Chapter Two

  1. 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).
    1. Caesar Augustus reigned from 27BC-14AD.
    2. Herod reigned from 37BC-4BC.
    3. 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).
  2. Seeming coincidence would make Jesus Christ born in Bethlehem (Lk. 2:7), but God’s directive Will was at work (Mic. 5:2).
  3. Nearby shepherds are summoned to bear witness to the birth of Christ (Lk. 2:8-20).
    1. The Lord had provided King Ahaz with a sign in 734BC—a virgin would conceive and bear a son (Isa. 7:14).
    2. Now the shepherds are provided with a sign—that baby will be found in a manger (Lk. 2:12).
  4. Angels are summoned to bear witness to the birth of Christ (Lk. 2:13-14).
  5. Joseph & Mary observed all the requirements of Law in the raising of the humanity of Christ (Lk. 2:22-24,39; Gal. 4:4).
  6. Two faithful witnesses in the temple identified the Christ and uttered prophecies regarding His mission (Lk. 2:25-38).
    1. 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. 
    2. Anna the Prophetess (Lk. 2:36-38).
  7. The humanity of Jesus Christ experienced the same growth process that every human being since Cain has been subject to (Lk. 2:40,52).
    1. His humanity grew physically, psychologically, and spiritually.
    2. By volitionally choosing to not exercise His omniscience, Jesus Christ experienced the human learning process.
  8. 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).