Matthew 2:13-23 Far From Home

13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”[c]

16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:

18 “A voice is heard in Ramah,     weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children     and refusing to be comforted,     because they are no more.”[d]

19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”

21 So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, 23 and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.

Far From Home

Jesus was carried into exile by his father.  It was to protect him, but as a toddler he must have wondered why his familiar settings in Bethlehem were being taken away.

Jesus, you were taken to Egypt and then brought back as part of the divine plan.  You didn’t have a place where you could put down roots because you were on the run.  You had a father who cared for you, in Joseph, who looked over you and did what was right.  He himself was looked over by your Father who looked over all of you and took you from place to place just like Israel had been cared for in the past.

Help me to see that as I wander from place to place I am not far from your Father.  Your Father is my Father and loves me unconditionally wherever I am.  It is hard for me to accept unconditional love.  I sometimes feel like a geographical and relational exile.  Some of my isolation is self imposed.  However, you too were isolated in various ways as a child to save you from harm.

Please teach me to look to the Father for tender care in every situation.

Questions

  1. How did Joseph care for Jesus?
  2. How did God the Father care for Joseph?
  3. How did God’s care for Israel parallel his care for Jesus?
  4. How does God show you love by protecting you?
  5. How does another person reflect the Father’s love to you?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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