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)


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 »

Matthew 2:1-4a Wise Men Still Seek Him (part 1)

A sign from above

A sign from above

The wise men in the East see the star. How did they know what this star meant? I’m thinking they were some form of ancient astronomers. How many other new stars had been seen in the heavens before and signified something critical in history? I’m assuming from the position of the star they judged it to be relevant to the Jewish people. I’m NOT an astronomer (as you can probably tell) but how did they know? What made them “follow” it?

I’m going to make up a story here. It is for my benefit but you might like it too. It’s a night like any other. Nothing special is happening. On a quiet hilltop somewhere far to the East of Jerusalem an observer is watching the night sky. This is not any observer but someone with some learning and connections. His attention is drawn to a particular star in the night sky. This star was not in this position before. (My bible says it “rose” so I’m going to say its change in position is what drew this learned man’s attention to it.) He has seen meteors before as they streak across the sky, but this star didn’t fade away but shown even more brightly in its new position! What could this mean? It had to be important. He had never observed anything like this before in his lifetime. He had to tell someone! Read more »

Matthew 1:18-25 God prepares Jesus’ earthly father

Bedtime Prayers

Bedtime Prayers

God picked very carefully and wisely when He chose an earthly father for His only begotten Son. Joseph was an amazing man! I don’t know many who could live up to his standards of faith and love.

First thing I want to know was how Joseph found out about Mary’s pregnancy. Did she tell him herself? Did he overhear others talking? Did he notice her “baby bump” and get suspicious?

Second, how far along was she when he found out? We know from Luke’s account that she spent the first three months of her pregnancy with her cousin Elizabeth. Did Joseph learn she was pregnant during those three months? If he did, it might have been easier for him to think things through. He obviously loved her; otherwise he wouldn’t have wanted to keep the divorce quiet. Most men, then and now, would be furious and want to cause her as much pain as she caused them. Read more »