Dec 9 2018 BibleGeek Advent 2 - Peace - Jesus is the Fulfillment of Prophecy and Israel!
11th December 2018
This week's BibleProject Advent Video is on PEACE - SHALOM!
Lord, thank You for this day and Your love for us. We are forgiven, holy, in Your presence – Shalom – we all have our broken parts, but in You they are put back together for good. When You look at us, we are whole and complete because of Jesus. Thank You for forgiveness!
Matthew 2:1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, 2 "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him." 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born.
Because of We three kings, there are numerous myths about the Magi – the wise men – what really matters – first, there are not three of them – it is because of the 3 gifts – but it was probably a large caravan – as they would have needed food and protection. Then, when they come into Jerusalem – the whole city was shaken. And then – they wouldn’t have been kings – they were probably pagan priests – some would call them heathen in every way! – In Daniel, it was the Magi who opposed Daniel. You don’t have to throw away your Nativity scenes. But Matthew is showing us that this is geared toward the Gentiles as well. People who are far from God are the people He came to save.
2:5 They said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the prophet: 6 'AND YOU, BETHLEHEM, LAND OF JUDAH, ARE BY NO MEANS LEAST AMONG THE LEADERS OF JUDAH; FOR OUT OF YOU SHALL COME FORTH A RULER WHO WILL SHEPHERD MY PEOPLE ISRAEL.'"
This prophecy is telling us – and we kind of began looking at this last week – the point of these prophecies – Jesus’ birth and life is a story of the people of Israel – and a fulfillment of the people of Israel – and this is tying Jesus to King David. All the kings of Israel/Judah were compared to David, and none matched up. They saw him as a political and military leader – but this new leader would be a shepherd of the people.
7 Then Herod secretly called the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him."
How many of you believe that one? Herod was BRUTAL! It was said of him – it was better to be his pig than his son! Anyone who threatened his kingship would be killed! He gained the kingdom through murder -and all of a sudden, he has another threat – this little baby that was born.
So Herod has a plot – and it is not a very good one – we know the story.
2:9 After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him.
Put yourself in Mary and Joseph’s shoes? We don’t know when this happened – it could have been a month, or year – it is not important – you’re in your house and a caravan pulls up in front of your door and all these finely dressed people unload with very expensive gifts for you. Then they bow down and worship your baby! Yet these very important people who come are not the ones YOU would expect. They are the enemy! We should never assume or limit how faith may take hold in one’s life. We want to formulate it – create formulas for how it must happen – these diagrams – these patterns – but nothing follows a pattern here – a star rises and people get saved! Don’t limit God!
I’m listening to a podcast on the gospel of Mark. Every time but twice, when the disciples are mentioned – it is a failure. There are four unnamed women disciples who do what is right – and that is the only time the disciples get it right. God likes to save and use the unexpected. We think – that could never happen! Sometimes God puts two Christian friends together – and maybe you knew them before they were Christians – and you think, wow! 40 years ago they would have killed each other and now they are brothers!
We have expectations of what is supposed to happen and what it is supposed to look like – and sometimes it just doesn’t happen that way. God wants to change us!
Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way.
2:13 Now when they had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him."
When God says go, you have got to go – NOW!
14 So Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt. 15 He remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: "OUT OF EGYPT I CALLED MY SON."
What is amazing about these prophecies – when you read them – they don’t make sense!
Hosea 11:1 When Israel was a youth I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son.
This is what Matthew bases the prophecy on! Let’s read on:
2 The more they called them, The more they went from them; They kept sacrificing to the Baals And burning incense to idols.
Egypt – in Exodus 4, Yahweh calls Israel his first-born son. And Matthew is showing that Jesus is the continuation and fulfillment of Israel’s story.
In the time of Joseph, they save the world during the famine. All of his siblings are starving and they have to go to Egypt.
Abraham and Sarah – they go to Egypt.
Eventually, a pharaoh is born that doesn’t remember Joseph. And Israel is growing strong – and what does he do? He tells the midwives to kill the baby boys. That sounds familiar – that is why Joseph has to flee.
And eventually there is a deliverer born – Moses. And what happens – there are plagues and his people come out of Egypt. And as they came out of Egypt – they come to the Jordan and they fail to cross – and wander 40 years in the desert. Skip ahead 1300 years. Jesus is born a deliverer. A king will kill baby boys. Jesus escapes to Egypt. He comes out of Egypt. Where does he go? To the Jordan and doesn’t fail there – but is baptized. Then He goes to the desert. He doesn’t fail there. He conquers in the desert. Jesus is what Israel was always meant to be and never could. That is what Matthew is doing when he tells the gospel story.
Israel goes to Egypt (Joseph)
A new Pharaoh kills baby boys.
Baby Moses is rescued.
Moses becomes the deliverer.
Israel comes out of Egypt.
Israel fails to cross the Jordan.
Israel wanders 40 years in the wilderness.
Jesus is born a deliverer.
A king kills baby boys.
Jesus escapes to Egypt.
Jesus comes out of Egypt.
Jesus is baptized in the Jordan.
Jesus is tested 40 days in the wilderness.
Matthew 2:16 Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi. 17 Then what had been spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: 18 "A VOICE WAS HEARD IN RAMAH, WEEPING AND GREAT MOURNING, RACHEL WEEPING FOR HER CHILDREN; AND SHE REFUSED TO BE COMFORTED, BECAUSE THEY WERE NO MORE."
2: 19 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, and said, 20 "Get up, take the Child and His mother, and go into the land of Israel; for those who sought the Child's life are dead." 21 So Joseph got up, took the Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Then after being warned by God in a dream, he left for the regions of Galilee, 23 and came and lived in a city called Nazareth. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophets: "He shall be called a Nazarene."
Okay – time for the BibleGeek time: This is really interesting, because – you can look for every Bible concordance and you never find Nazareth in the Old Testament – it is not there! Because Nazareth – was founded in the latter part of the second century BC – and the Bible Story of the Old Testament ends in the 5th century BC.
Isaiah 11:1 Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse,
A new shoot – a new grown – I have these bushes – some sort of willow. They just grow – and I just cut them down. I hack them down to just stumps -and they grow all the more! What he is talking about – these new shoots that come off the stump – Israel is a dead stump. Israel is being exiled – and he is saying – this dead stump – out of it – a shoot will come – from its roots will bear fruit.
And a branch from his roots will bear fruit. 2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
So what Matthew does – the word BRANCH – is the word Nazareth –
"Behold, the days are coming," declares the LORD, "When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely And do justice and righteousness in the land. (Jer 23:5 NAU)
In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch of David to spring forth; and He shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth. (Jer 33:15 NAU)
Then say to him, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, "Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of the LORD. (Zec 6:12 NAU)
They named Nazareth because of these passages – setting up the hope that someday – the rightful king – the family of David would return to the throne.
And Jesus comes in and says – here is the fulfillment.
The other final interesting thing about this – Nazareth had a wonderful reputation – The saying was – nothing good can come out of Nazareth – John 1:46 – it was out in the sticks – to have a pun on the whole branch thing there.
What it does – it speaks of the humility of the Savior. Jesus didn’t need to come from someplace important.
God does not need the powerful and smart people to do His work. It is okay that he uses those also – and He does, but God so often chooses the weak – the shamed – the strong – and the foolish to shame the wise. And God’s plan – bringing salvation from this little child is probably not the plan we would have come up with but it is the perfect plan.