Going Home – Matthew 2: 19-23

Today is Saturday, May 18, 2020, and I am Pastor Kim Alexander and you are listening to COVID-19 Connection Series # 52

Welcome and so glad that you have joined me.

How are you today?

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Church this week – 8:30; 945; and 11:00 A.M.

Today in the News:

 No News is Good News! Let’s stick with that thought for today.

Bible Quiz – Do you know the Answer?

Q: What was Abram’s name changed to?
A: Abraham

Q: What was Sarai’s name changed to?
A: Sarah

Q: What was the second son Abraham had?
A: Isaac

Q: Who did Abraham have his second son with?
A: Sarah

Q: Where did Hagar and her son leave to?
A: Into the desert

Q: Who did Abraham send to find Isaac a wife?
A: His oldest servant

Q: Who did the servant choose?
A: Rebekah

Pause for Prayer:

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  • Pastor/Deacon meeting
  • Men’s Bible Study start up
  • Summer activities
  • Cup of Grace Ministry

Today our WORD from the Lord comes from Matthew 2:19-23,

   19 Now when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.” 21 Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee. 23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”[1]

I want to have a word with you about Going Home.

Is it safe to go home? Have you ever heard that question before? It is usually a question we hear after a natural disaster, or some major tragedy. Well, this same question is on the minds of Joseph and Mary.

  1. In Egypt – vs. 19-20

   19 Now when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.”

   Herod is dead – It is recorded in history that Herod died somewhere around March 29 – April 11, 4 B.C. Death removes even kings. This goes to show us that even Kings cannot control the day of their death. It is appointed unto men to die.

   If we take the timeframe of Herod’s death we know that Jesus Christ must have been born sometimes between 6-5 B.C.

   An angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt

   Alexandria, Egypt is 312 to Nazareth, Israel. On foot it would take 204 hours to walk. By car you could drive that distance in a little over 12 hours.  

   Joseph was told that it was safe to return to Israel, and that he was to take the young child and Mary back home. For the ones who sought the Child’s life are dead. Remember I told you that Herod hired people to do his dirty jobs.

  1. In Israel – vs. 21-22

   21 Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee.

   Joseph acted in obedience without question, and he took the Child and His mother, and they came into the land of Israel. Once within the boundaries of Israel he heard word that Herod’s son, Archelaus was reigning over Judea, and he was afraid to go there. I have read that Archelaus said that he was going to be a good ruler, but he ended up being like his father. Herod willed the kingdom to his son. He is the son of Herod’s Samaritan wife, Malthrace. I think if I was Joseph that I too would been scared!

   Joseph was warned by God in a dream, and so he turned aside and went into the region of Galilee. If you looked at a map you would see that Galilee is North of Judea.
  1. In Nazareth – v. 23

   23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”

   Jesus’ family settled in the city of Nazareth. What do we know about Nazareth? It was an obscure town in the region of Galilee. It is never mentioned in the Old Testament. Some suggest that it was for this reason that God had Jesus grow up in Nazareth.

  • Jesus was a child in Nazareth.
  • Jesus was a boy in Nazareth.
  • Jesus was a youth in Nazareth.
  • Jesus was a man in Nazareth.

   Jesus worked with Joseph in a carpenter’s shop. As I thought about Jesus being a carpenter my mind though what it would be like to own a piece of furniture that Jesus made. Wouldn’t that be cool?

   Are you aware that people argued one-time Nazareth never existed? It wasn’t until the archeologist spade uncovered the city of Nazareth. And it was in 2009 that the spade of the archeologist found what they call a Jesus Era House in Nazareth. Let me read the article for you.

   Next we read, “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”

   It has been suggested that many prophets spoke about the future messiah coming out of Nazareth. However, many critics of the Bible have discounted the Scripture based on these few words alone.

   Question: Do we discount all of Scripture just because we can’t find this exact phrase in Bible prophecy? The answer is a resounding, No!

   The Bible Knowledge Commentary offers us the following solution: Isaiah said the Messiah would be “from [Jesse’s] roots” like “a Branch” (Isa. 11:1). “Branch” is the Hebrew word neer, which has consonants like those in the word “Nazarene” and which carry the idea of having an insignificant beginning.

Since Matthew used the plural prophets, perhaps his idea was not based on a specific prophecy but on the idea that appeared in a number of prophecies concerning Messiah’s despised character. Nazareth was the town which housed the Roman garrison for the northern regions of Galilee. Therefore most Jews would not have any associations with that city. In fact those who lived in Nazareth were thought of as compromisers who consorted with the enemy, the Romans. Therefore to call one “a Nazarene” was to use a term of contempt. So because Joseph and his family settled in Nazareth, the Messiah was later despised and considered contemptible in the eyes of many in Israel. This was Nathanael’s reaction when he heard Jesus was from Nazareth (John 1:46): “Can anything good come from there?[2]

Lessons for us Learners:

  1. We have all been called out of Egypt. Egypt in the Bible is a picture of the world.
  2. One day it will be safe to go home. For us that’s, heaven.
  3. When God provides revelation we need to act in obedience.
  4. Be careful to discern God’s Will. This may means that we will be to pause and wait. Don’t be in a hurry.
  5. It’s not the place where you reside that determines the person, it is your inner character.
  6. People may call you names, but they cannot deny your testimony.
  7. The best things often come from the most despised places.

Remember, I am in touch, so you be in touch.

And as always, Dr. Robert Cook used to say, “Walk with the King today and be a blessing.

[1] The New King James Version. (1982). (Mt 2:19–23). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[2] Barbieri, L. A., Jr. (1985). Matthew. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 23). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.