Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20120418.htm
THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Matthew: Jesus As Israel's Messiah And His Kingdom
Part IV: Jesus As Israel's Messiah By His Relocation In Infancy
<+C>Lesson: Jesus' infancy record amply shows JEWS that Jesus is the Hebrew Old Testament Messiah!
- If Jesus is the true Messiah of the God of the Old Testament, the case Matthew sought to make in writing to Jews (Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, p. 1337, "Introduction to the Gospel According to Matthew"), then evidences of that fact had to appear in the life of Christ from His infancy.
- Such evidence does exist, and in abundance, and Matthew supplies some of it in Matthew 2:12-23:
- Jesus As Israel's Messiah By His Relocation In Infancy, Matthew 2:12-23.
- The events surrounding Christ's conception, birth and infancy are marked by multiple dreams:
- In Matthew 1:20, Joseph had a dream of the angel of the Lord urging him not to fear to take Mary unto himself as his wife regardless if she was with child, for the child in her was of the Holy Spirit.
- In Matthew 2:12, the magi were warned of God in a dream not to return to Herod.
- In Matthew 2:13, Joseph received a dream of the angel of the Lord urging him to flee with Mary and the infant Jesus into Egypt until He sent word as Herod would seek the young child to kill Him.
- In Matthew 2:19-20, an angel of the Lord appeared again in a dream, urging Joseph to return to Israel as those who had sought the infant Jesus' life were then dead.
- In Matthew 2:22, God warned Joseph a final time in a dream not to remain in Judaea upon returning to Israel, so he returned to his original home of Nazareth up in Galilee, Matthew 2:23 with Luke 2:1-5.
- Well, the Hebrew Old Testament indicated there were three origins of dreams, natural (Ecclesiastes 5:3), divine (Numbers 12:6) and evil (Deuteronomy 13:1, 2), Zon. Pict. Ency. of the Bible , vol. Two, p. 163.
- These Matthew 1-2 dreams are shown in Matthew's text by the events that followed in each case and/or by Biblical Old Testament prophecy fulfillment that their source was none other than GOD (as follows):
- When Joseph heeded the dream to take Mary as his wife (Matthew 1:20), the birth of Jesus that followed was noted by Matthew to be the fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14 on the virgin birth, Matt. 1:22-23.
- When Joseph heeded the dream to flee with Mary and Jesus into Egypt (Matthew 2:13-14), Matthew noted it fulfilled Hosea 11:1 that God would call His Son out of Egypt, Matthew 2:15.
- When both the magi and Joseph heeded their dreams to avoid Herod (Matt. 2:12, 13), both dreams were proved right as Herod slew Bethlehem's infants (Matt. 2:16), and this atrocity in part fulfilled Jeremiah 31:15 regarding Rachel's (for Israel's women) grieving the infants' deaths, Matthew 2:17-18.
- The next two dreams Joseph experienced also led to fulfilled Bible prophecy regarding Messiah relative to His being despised, a key theme in the Gospel of Matthew (as follows):
- When Joseph heeded the dream to return to Israel since those who sought Jesus' death were now dead (Matthew 2:19-21), he indeed found another man ruled on Herod's throne, Matt. 2:22a.
- However, when Joseph learned heard this ruler was murderous Archelaus (Ibid., Ryrie, ftn. to Matt. 2:22), he was afraid to move to Judaea (Matt. 2:22b), and he had another dream warning him against going there (Matt . 2:22c), so Joseph went to Nazareth for Jesus to be reared there, Matt. 2:22d-23.
- In being taken to grow up in Nazareth, Jesus was made to fulfill Isaiah 49:1-7 where Messiah would be held in contempt by Israel, a key theme in Matthew's Gospel (Matt. 2:23): (1) Ron Allen reports that around 100 B. C., a small group of returning Jewish exiles settled there, giving the place its family name of "Natsara" or "Branch" in Hebrew, and claiming Messiah would come from them to fulfill Isaiah 11:1 as the Branch of David's line. Other Jews derided this claim so that "Nazareth" became a derided term in Israel (John 1:44-46). Allen asserts Matthew tried to express a Hebrew word in awkward Greek at Matthew 2:23, calling Jesus a "Natsarene", a "Branch-Man," identified by the Jewish settlement there to show Jesus fulfilled the Isaiah 11:1 prophecy on Messiah being the Branch though despised by Israel in fulfillment of Isaiah 49:1-7! (Ronald Allen, "Does Anything Good Come from Nazareth?", Winter 1999, Kindred Spirit [Dallas Theological Seminary], p. 3, 11)
<+C>Application: May we hold Jesus is Messiah, and marvel at the intricacies of the fulfillment of prophecy!