December 17 - Witnesses of the Messiah: Herod
Prepare for Sunday morning worship using the guide below.
This Sunday Bryan Launer will continue the class on Understanding the Heart in the youth room at 10:00am. This class explores what Scripture says about the heart, why it's so important, and how you can better understand your own heart and help others. Ray Rutledge and Bo Pritchard will be in the Adult 1 classroom continuing through The Gospel Project (currently going through the New Testament).
13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 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.
Over these past few weeks, we have heard various witnesses testify to the birth of Jesus Christ. Our first witness was Joseph. He testified to the child being the Savior, as the angel told him to give the child the name Jesus because he will save his people from their sins. Our second witness was the magi, who instructed us on the glory of this king and the worship he deserves. We were reminded that ultimately all the nations will worship Jesus as King, beginning with these men from the East. This brings us to our third witness, Herod. Herod is more of a hostile witness, unfavorable and undesiring of this coming child born king. This shows us the darker side of Jesus as King entering our world to save, not all want it. Even in infancy, Jesus faces hostility and yet in the midst of the hatred, we have reasons to rejoice over Christmas. We see the hope of deliverance from sin, glory from suffering and love even for his enemies all wrapped up in the Christ child. There are three scenes in which we see God’s plan offering hope as each one fulfills a promise in scripture from the OT.
Review and Apply
How is Jesus a new and better Moses? Use Hosea 11.1 to explain.
How can Jesus bring delight from despair as recorded in Jeremiah 31?
In your history, how has God brought good from a situation that was bad?
How can you gently help others see that God's purpose might go beyond the immediate situation?
What must you be careful of in speaking to another Christian about this?
What hope do hardened sinners have in Jesus being called a Nazarene?
How does this challenge us in our relationship with people that reject or ridicule us?
Why does Matthew continue to say about Jesus, so that the scriptures are fulfilled? See Luke 24.45-48; John 5.39