The Best and Worst of Times Bible Study

KEY VERSE:
Matthew 2:14-23
14 And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt 
15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
16 Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. 
17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:
18 “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.”
19 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 
20 saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.” 
21 And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to 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, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. 
23 And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, so that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, that he would be called a Nazarene.

Introduction:
The times were very hard for Israel. Herod would soon be dead, but his Son Archelaus would take his place. Children would die and the people would mourn. And through it all, there is this glimmer of hope. A light for all the World to see. That light is Jesus Christ, the Born Savior!

 

I. PROPHESY FULFILLED.
Matthew 2:14-18
14 And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt 
15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
16 Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. 
17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:
18 “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.”
 

A. There were several colonies of Jews located in Egypt at this time. It would have not been unusual for Jews to move there.

B. Israel was captive to Egypt until God led the Hebrews out through Moses. Now God would lead His Son Jesus back to Egypt and then later return Him back to His People.

C. “Rachael Weeping for her children” is a reference to Jacobs wife Rachael.

D. Rachael died on her way to Bethlehem while giving birth to her only child . She was buried just a stone’s throw away from Bethlehem.

E. Herod did everything in his great power to destroy Jesus but failed.

F. Herod feared that Christ wanted his earthly throne. But Jesus really wanted to Save Herod. Christ wanted the throne to Herod’s heart.

 

II. YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW.
Matthew 2:19
But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.” 

A. Herod did not just die, he suffered greatly before hand!

B. In his rule, Herod caused the suffering of countless people and on his death bed he too would suffer.

C. Herod’s disease caused him intolerable inching all over his body.

D. He had continual pain in his colon, tumors about his feet, an inflammation in his abdomen and could only breath while sitting up. And he had a condition on his privy member that produced worms!

2 Corinthians 5:10
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

 

III. DO NOT TEST GOD.
Matthew 2:21-22
21 And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to 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, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. 

A. Joseph was directed to go places several times by God. Not to obey would be to test God.

B. Whenever we disobey God we are testing Him.

Deuteronomy 6:16
“You shall not put the Lord your God to the test,

C. Joseph was wise to avoid Archelaus who’s first order of Rule was to kill 3000 people.

 

IV. BIG THINGS FROM LITTLE STUFF.
Matthew 2:23
And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, so that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, that he would be called a Nazarene.

A. God often takes something small and makes it into something huge.

B. Nazareth was a place of ridicule and of little significance.

C. “he would be called a Nazarene”, is NOT an OT quote but rather Matthew is saying that the OT prophets foretold that the Messiah would be despised, comparable to the way in which the town of Nazareth was despised in the time of Jesus.

D. Nazareth means “BRANCH”.

Isaiah 11:1
There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.

 

Conclusion:
From these verses we learn that a bad things happened because of the birth of Christ. But it is not God who is to blame. Rather it is Mankind’s reaction to God. People have a tendency to reject God. But even now, through Christ He is Calling us. Will you come to Him or will you reject Him?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0XzafgbR0Q&feature=player_embedded