Thursday, July 25, 2013

July 25 - Matthew 2

Today's reading in our daily plan is Matthew 2. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Today we get to see what happened right after Jesus was born. After the birth of Jesus, Magi (also known as "wise men") from the east came to visit and honor the king of the Jews. On their way they visited the political leader Herod. When Herod heard about Jesus being a king he was disturbed. Jesus was just a newborn but was already making waves. Eventually the Magi found Jesus, gave him gifts and went back east, avoiding Herod because they were warned in a dream. The three kinds of gifts they brought can be interpreted as foreshadowing Jesus' life and death:
    • The gold, representing royalty, foretells Jesus as King.
    • The incense, symbolic of the prayers of the high priests rising up to heaven, foretells Jesus as High Priest (the one who connects people to God).
    • The myrrh, often used as a burial oil, foretells Jesus’ death.
  • Joseph, Jesus’ "step-father", is also warned in a dream to avoid king Herod. So Joseph and Mary take Jesus to Egypt.
  • In verse 19 it's years later and again God leads Joseph to travel, so the family heads back to Israel. But instead of settling in their hometown of Bethlehem, Joseph leads them north of Judah to the small town of Nazareth to escape Herod.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • From day one it was obvious that Jesus was no ordinary child and that what made Him special would also make His life very difficult.
  • God interacts with humans. He is not a God who created the world and then stepped back to watch. He is not a God who gives the world principles to live by and wishes them luck. He is a God who is relational and who interacts with people who seek His guidance.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Have you experienced God interacting with you? If so, what was it like? Did He prompt you to do something? Personalize a Bible verse or a sermon so it seemed like it was just for you? Speak the perfect thing you needed to hear through a friend of yours? If you haven't experienced the feeling that God was specifically moving in your life, why do you think that is? Are you truly living in a relationship with Him? Are you inviting Him to act?  Are you seeking His guidance? Perhaps you could take a few minutes to talk to Him about that right now...