Matthew 3:7-10 Pharisees and Sadducees Are Put in Their Place

Pharisees pointing

The Skeptics arive

John is still on his mission. The Pharisees and Sadducees came to check out what was going on. Were they there looking for a “crazy” man? Were they looking to discredit his teaching? Were they going to try and challenge his authority? John certainly didn’t believe they were there to receive his teaching and baptism.

He called them snakes! Another word for snake is serpent. Satin disguised himself as a serpent in the Garden of Eden. These serpents were disguising themselves as religious leaders. Both deceptive and deadly!

John confronted them directly and told them if they had any REAL intentions of changing to prove it to him first. So many people say “I’m sorry” with no intention of changing their behavior that was offensive in the first place. As they say, “The proof is in the putting.” Or, “Put your money where your mouth is.” Read more »

Matthew 3:1-6 A Voice Crying in the Wilderness

Baptism

An outward sign of an inward change

Where did John get his education? Was everything he said imparted by the Holy Spirit? Did he spend time with Jesus while they were growing up? Did Jesus teach him as a child? We know that his mother was filled by the Holy Spirit before his birth when she bore witness for Mary of Jesus’ deity.  Was he filled at this time too? If he was, did that filling stay with him his whole life?

John was bold and totally sure of his calling. He never wavered in what he was to do. He didn’t back down or get intimidated by anyone. He was not shy about saying just what he thought. How did he get so bold? Did his parents, from the time he could understand, tell him of his mission in life? Did they really understand his mission themselves? How did his parents raise such a self-assured young man? Not self-assured but God inspired! Was he this way from the time he could talk or did he move into this assurance as he grew older? Read more »

Matthew 2:19-23 Out of Egypt

Billy's route

Taking the long way Home

Joseph believed in dreams. I frequently have vivid and weird dreams. Sometimes I try to figure them out. Joseph, however, had dreams directly from God. Were they always so straight forward as our narrator tells us or did he have to figure them out? Were the ones we are told about in Matthew the only ones God spoke to him in? Raising God’s son, I would expect a bit more direct input. I put my two cents in with my grandkids upbringing on occasion.

Apparently Herod was not convinced he got the Christ in his murderous night at Bethlehem. The bible says, “Those who sought the child’s life are dead.” He still looked for him as long as he lived. Joseph even expected Herod’s son to carry on the search to some extent. God kept Jesus safely in Egypt until after Herod’s death. This kept Jesus, Mary and Joseph out of Herod’s reach. Read more »

Matthew 2:13-19 Fleeing For Their Lives

“A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children. She refused to be comforted because they are no more (vs 18)”

A couple of questions pop into my head right away. Question number one. Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem for the census but didn’t return once it was over. Why not? The couple in Israel usually stays as an engaged couple while the husband works on their first home. Once the home is finished he goes and gets his bride and the wedding occurs then. Joseph had to cut the engagement short because of Mary’s condition. Does this mean they had no “home” to return to? If so, staying wouldn’t have been an issue. Joseph was a carpenter so he could probably find work anywhere. This also left them in Jesus’ birth place for the visit of the wise men.

Second, how long did Herod wait after the wise men left to realize he had been duped? He had to at least give them time to travel both ways and to search for the Christ. How long did they stay with Jesus’ family? How long after they left Mary and Joseph did the angel appear to him in his dream? Joseph had to get up in the middle of the night to get out in time. Did he go in the middle of the night because it was easier to conceal them or was it because they left IMMEDIATELY after the dream? Read more »

Matthew 2:4b-12 Wise Men Still Seek Him (part 2)

star

The sign is renewed

Ok. We left off in our story with the men from the East at Herod’s court asking directions. Herod has just gathered anyone who could have any knowledge of what these men were talking about. And he was shaking in his sandals worried.

First off I want to note that he didn’t think their claims of a new king being born to be bogus. My bible says, “He inquired of them where the Christ was to be born” (verse 4b). He knew this King was to be the Christ! I don’t know if he knew the whole significance of the Christ, but he knew it spelled disaster for his rule.

The men he had gathered looked to the scriptures for their answers. They found exactly what was requested of them because God had already told them what and where this miracle was going to take place. This gave Herod half the answer to his problem.

I want to step outside the story for a moment and look closely at the titles given in this search. The wise men sought the “king of the Jews;” Herod ask for “the Christ;” and the scribes and chief priests offered “a ruler who will shepherd my people.” I don’t have a Greek, Hebrew or Latin translation (and wouldn’t know how to use it if I did) but how did they know they were all looking for the same thing? Did they use the same Greek/Hebrew/Latin word? Did God impart this knowledge to them during this encounter? How did they all agree on the significance of this child? Read more »