Ask God to quiet the troubles and worries of your mind as you come seeking him in his Word today.
Read Matthew 2:13–23
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.”
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.”
The Return to Nazareth
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.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhen have you experienced opposition as a Christian? How did it make you feel?
Herod’s opposition was evident in yesterday’s reading. Today his paranoia is even more clear. He had something of a reputation—he had already killed most of his supposed rivals, including one of his wives and three sons.
But there is more to this. The powers of evil will do all they can to oppose what God is doing through Jesus. This is just the start of a conflict that will continue throughout Jesus’ life. But God’s plan cannot be thwarted. Looking back over the last two days, note how God acts to preserve Jesus.
The battle did not stop with the life of Jesus. It continues today. Across the world, God’s people are opposed by those who don’t want his work to prosper. We are all caught up in this spiritual battle. For some it will involve imprisonment or death. For others it will be the loss of job or educational opportunities. For others it may mean
facing daily ridicule.
We may wonder why God doesn’t always intervene the way that he does here. But he didn’t even in New Testament times. The important thing is that he is working out his ultimate purpose, and one day he
will restore everything and bring justice to all. This is what Jesus came to do. His death and resurrection are the guarantees.
What can you do to support your Christian brothers and sisters? Pray? Give? Speak? Go? Find a way that you can help.
Pray for all those who suffer for their faith.
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