BEAUTIFUL STAR OF BETHLEHEM



Scripture for today - Matthew 2:1-23 in the Phillips Version. It was Corrie

Ten-Boom's favorite version. New Testament is green. Old Testament purple.


Jesus was born in Bethlehem, in Judea, in the days when Herod was king of the province. Not long after his birth there arrived from the east a party of astrologers making for Jerusalem and inquiring as they went: "Where is the child born to be King of the Jews? For we saw his star in the east and we have come here to pay homage to him."


When King Herod heard about this he was deeply perturbed, as indeed were all the other people living in Jerusalem. So he summoned all the Jewish Scribes and Chief Priests together and asked them where "Christ" should be born. Their reply was: "In Bethlehem, in Judea, for this is what the prophet wrote about the matter:

"And thou Bethlehem, land of Judah

Art in no wise least among the princes of Judah:

For out of thee shall come forth a governor,

Which shall be shepherd of my people Israel." Micah 5:2


Then Herod invited the wise men to meet him privately and found out from them the exact time when the star appeared. Then he sent them off to Bethlehem, saying "When you get there, search for this little child with the utmost care. And when you have found him, come back and tell me - so that I may go and worship him too.


The wise men listened to the king and then went on their way to Bethlehem.

And now the star, which they had seen in the east, went in front of them as they traveled until at last it shone immediately above the place where the little child lay. The sight of the star filled them with indescribable joy.


So they went into the house and saw the little child with his mother, Mary. And they fell on their knees and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts - gold, incense and myrrh. Then, since they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they went back to their own country by a different route.


But after they had gone the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Get up now; take the little child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you. For Herod means to seek out the child and kill him."

So Joseph got up and, taking the child and his mother with him in the middle of the night, set off for Egypt, where he remained until Herod's death. This again is a fulfillment of the Lord's word spoken through the prophet:


"Out of Egypt did I call my son." Hosea 11:1


When Herod saw that he had been fooled by the wise men, he was furiously angry. He issued orders, and killed all the male children of two years and under in Bethlehem and the surrounding district - basing his calculation on his careful questioning of the wise men. Then Jeremiah's prophecy was fulfilled:


"A voice was heard in Ramah,

Weeping and great mourning,

Rachel weeping for her children;

And she would not be comforted, because they are not."

Jeremiah 31:15


But after Herod's death an angel of the Lord again appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Now get up and take the infant and his mother with you and go into the land of Israel. For those who sought the child's life are dead."

So Joseph got up and took the little child and his mother with him and journeyed toward the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was now reigning as King of Judea in the place of his father Herod, he was afraid to enter the country. Then he received warning in a dream to turn aside into the district of Galilee and came to live in a small town called Nazareth - thus fulfilling the old prophecy that he should be called a Nazarene*. *Mark 1:24 & OT prophets



Travel photo of Nazareth


Two forces are represented in this second chapter of Matthew. Forces that have been with us since the beginning of time as we know it - God vs serpent /

Abel vs Cain. The Wise Men with their gifts stand in opposition to a blood thirsty king Herod. Will the babe occupy a throne? There are the men who follow a star and lay gifts at his feet. Other men follow orders from Herod to massacre babies in the hopes the Christ child is one of them. Heaven was watching Joseph and Mary as they left in the middle of the night to protect the little one.

And so it shall be. We look around and wonder if evil has won the world . . .

But take comfort in this verse:


The light (Jesus) shines in the darkness,

and the darkness did not overcome the light. John 1:5


The Book of Revelation tells the end of the story. It is a good ending. It is a happy ending. Darkness does not win because it cannot overcome the light.









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