TEXT: Matthew 2:11-15:
11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.
12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.
13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:
15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.
Kenneth Latourette said, “One of the most amazing and significant facts of history is that within five centuries of its birth, Christianity won the professed allegiance of the overwhelming majority of the Roman Empire and even the support of the Roman state. Beginning as a seemingly obscure sect of Judaism, one of the scores, even hundreds of religions and religious groups which were competing within the realm, revering as its central figure one who had been put to death by the machinery of Rome.”
After the wise men met Jesus, they receive a message from God in a dream telling them not to go back to Herod with the news that they had found the Child. They obeyed this message and returned to their own land by another route. The obedience of the pagan astrologers to the divine message is yet more evidence that they understood that they were not dealing just with the arrival of human royalty, but with the long-awaited bursting forth of divinity upon mankind.
Previously, the wise men were beholden to human rulers, including Herod. But now that Jesus had arrived, they recognized that a higher authority was in control and that this higher authority was working in the earth to bring about His will. The wise men knew that they owed their allegiance to Him. Everyone who met Jesus during His earthly ministry was confronted with the same reality. Everyone had to pay allegiance to the secular Roman government or to the religious Jewish government. But Jesus claimed authority that was even higher. People had to decide if they would turn their allegiance to Jesus or continue following earthly authorities.
Craig S. Keener said, “That the Magi needed a supernatural revelation to warn them not to return by way of Jerusalem suggests their innocent naiveté. Even without Herod’s unadmirable character, few kings would be ready to surrender their own rule to a nonrelative some foreigners hailed as king! (For that matter, not only powerful people in society but many others today seem reluctant to acknowledge Jesus’ right to direct their lives.) The Magi’s innocence compared to Herod’s murderous shrewdness again reminds Matthew’s readers not to prejudge the appropriate recipients of the gospel. Jesus is for all who will receive him, and God may provide Jesus’ servants with allies in unexpected places if we have the wisdom to recognize them.”
The wise men, however, were not the only ones who received a warning from God on the night of their visit to the house of the Child Jesus. Joseph also received a warning that Herod would seek to “destroy” the “young child.” The angel of the Lord told Jesus’ earthly parents to take Him to Egypt in order to avoid the coming bloodbath. God could have protected His Son through supernatural means, but it is interesting that He chose to use human ones. Sending the Child to Egypt would have put Him out of Herod’s jurisdiction; it would have also fulfilled Hosea’s prophecy that the Messiah would be called “out of Egypt.”
The obedience of the wise men, and of Joseph and Mary, is an example for us today. We may not understand the mysterious ways in which God chooses to work, but we ought to choose to obey nevertheless. The wise men also faced a choice — whether to continue with their allegiance to earthly kings or to shift their allegiance to the King of Kings whom God had revealed to them in the Child Jesus. The eyes and minds of these pagans had been opened to the truth via the little that they had learned about Jesus. Our minds possess an even greater enlightenment regarding who God is through the complete revelation of Jesus Christ. Will we obey as the wise men did? Will we obey as Mary and Joseph did? Will we obey God? That is the question.
God made sure to preserve His Son’s life so that He could die as a sacrifice in order to save your soul. Here is how you can take advantage of His sacrifice today by believing in Him:
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to GospelLightSociety.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.