Reading the Gospel: Matthew 2:19-23

This section marks the final entry of the story of Jesus’ childhood, and Matthews attempts to shoehorn that childhood into as many prophecies as possible. As ridiculous as it seems, I honestly think Matthew is being serious. It feels very conspiracy theory, though. I imagine him talking very quickly, and emphasising the prophecy bits with raised eyebrows.

Angel - Dream meaning | Dream about Angel

Seriously, Matthew needs to come up with a different reason for why things happen than ‘an angel came to them in a dream’. Every… time… it’s an angel in their dreams. On the other hand, hey, if that’s what happened, that’s what happened. Maybe people didn’t need as much variety in their lives 2000 years ago. I can just imagine today, ‘You’ve already come to me in my dreams twice already, can’t you send a text, or write something on the wall this time? No one believes me when it’s a dream thing!’

Archelaus was reputed to be just as ruthless as his dad, Herod. Thus the fear. Instead, he went to Galilee, specifically Nazareth. Why is that, you ask? Well didn’t you know about the prophecy that said the Messiah would be called a Nazarene? It would appear that, at the time, being called a Nazarene was a derogatory thing or something to be ashamed of. In other words, something Jesus wouldn’t want to be called.

Jerusalem in the New Testament Period

And there you have it, the birth story of Christ as told by Matthew. My reasonable assessment? It sounds like a guy trying really hard to convince a superstitious crowd that Jesus fit all of the prophecies of the Messiah. I liked Marks arguments better, as they were based on Jesus’ actions and miracles. We’re not done with the convincing yet, though. So let’s not write Matthew off just yet.

Until next time, grace and peace to you all.


2 thoughts on “Reading the Gospel: Matthew 2:19-23

  1. In Lukes account, Joseph and Mary came down from Nazareth (Luke 2:4) in the first place, before the birth of Jesus and returned there after Jesus was presented in the temple. (Luke 2:39) This would make the visit from the wise men in Bethlehem have to coincide with another visit of Joseph and family to Bethlehem. From there they flee to Egypt, and then a couple years later return to their home in Nazareth. BTW- all that travel would take some means – perhaps a stash of gold, or other saleable items. setting up housekeeping in Egypt for 2 years with no visible means of support, having left all your earthly stuff up at home in Naz. That gold would have come in handy methinks.

    I think we all have stories like this. When we tell some people about our childhood, we might tell one part, and to others, different parts. So when they retell the story – it can seem confusing. Think of your various homes and trying to explain where you’re from? Bit and pieces shared at various times would make for a tough job putting a timeline together.

    And yet, that’s what we try to do with these little snippets from the life of Christ. It’s not a novel telling about his life story – it’s bits and pieces – like mountain tops peeking out above the clouds.

    I’m enjoying your thoughts and analysis. You always keep me thinking.

    BTW – Happy New Year!! This year holds lots of promise and adventure for you and yours! I pray God’s richest blessings on all of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. And I am enjoying the dynamic between you and Zach. I suspect if Zach were not your SIL you might not even read his stuff. In fact I was thinking as I read this, “I wonder what our dad, “Fath” would have thought about this?! I know for a fact that he used to dislike “red letter” editions of the NT, because “all Scripture is inspired by God!” so none of it is more inspired than other parts. I wonder if his thoughts on this an many other things may have evolved over the years! So much in our culture is so different since 1988!
    As for me, my journey has taken me around a lot of corners, nothing horrible or traumatic, just my brain working around things, and of course influences of people I have read and listened to. I didn’t used to be open to “higher criticism” of scripture, but now I think it’s a necessity. One’s view on inspiration of scripture changes pretty much EVERYTHING. Yet, we still can call ourselves believers, because… well because we believe! Anyway, thanks for another good one, Zach. And thanks for your thought, Ben!

    Liked by 1 person

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