Jesus-from Egypt to Nazareth
Topic: Christmas Scripture: Matthew 2:13–2:23
Jesus: from Egypt to Nazareth
The child Jesus fulfills prophecy by going to and out of Egypt and settling in Nazareth
1) An angel warns Joseph in a dream to take Jesus to Egypt since Herod plots to kill Jesus, 2:13.
2) Joseph takes Jesus to Egypt until Herod dies fulfilling “out of Egypt I called my son,” 2:14-15.
How did Joseph taking baby Jesus into and out of Egypt fulfill Hosea 11:1, “out of Egypt I have called my son”? How does this event show God’s orchestrating the events of Jesus’ life?
3) Herod is furious that he doesn’t learn where Jesus is and has all baby boys killed, 2:16.
4) This fulfilled “a voice was heard weeping, Rachel weeping for her children,” 2:17-18.
Matthew cites Jeremiah 31:15. Jeremiah 31 is about the future days of God’s new covenant with his people, when he will restore them to their land, forgive their sins, and bless them with peace and prosperity. In the person of Rachel, Jeremiah pictures Jewish mothers weeping, having watched their sons go off to battle, some to die, and others to be taken away captive to distant lands. How does Herod’s killing of the baby boys in an attempt to kill Jesus “fulfill” what Jeremiah wrote?
5) When Herod dies, an angel tells Joseph in dream to take Jesus to Israel, 2:19-20.
6) Joseph takes Jesus and his mother and goes to Israel, 2:21.
7) Joseph fears to go to Judea due to Archelaus and warned in a dream, goes to Galilee, 2:22.
8) Joseph settles in Nazareth that “he shall be called a Nazarene” might be fulfilled, 2:23.
Why did Matthew see the need to explain how Jesus ended up in Nazareth?
There is no Old Testament prophecy stating that the Messiah would be called a Nazarene. Nazareth was a tiny town and had a reputation of being a “nothing” town, or a “loser” village, if people even knew about it at all (John 1:46). What does Matthew mean when he says that Joseph took Jesus to Nazareth “so that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, that he would be called a Nazarene”? (See for example Isaiah 53:2-3 and Psalm 22:6-7).