Matthew 2: Always search for the truth.

October 2nd, 2006

The wise men, or “Magi”, had a hunch that they would get to meet a mighty king if they followed a star. They were prepared to believe that there might be an answer at the end of the search, and as their reward they got to meet Jesus. The Bible says in the book of Hebrews that God rewards those who earnestly seek him. Too often churches have told people to just accept what they preach and not to ask questions. Like Cartman from South Park, they just seem to shout, “Respect my authority!” You should never be afraid to ask questions and seek for the truth.

Matthew’s Account of the Good News — Chapter 2

2:1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, while Herod was the king, wise men from the east arrived in Jerusalem, asking, 2:2 “Where is the newly born King of the Jews? We have seen his star rising, and have come to worship him.” 2:3 King Herod was distressed when he heard this, and so was everyone else in Jerusalem. 2:4 He summoned all the senior priests and religious lawyers, and asked them where the Christ would be born. 2:5 They answered, “In Bethlehem in Judea, because this is what the prophet predicted: 2:6 ‘And you Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the governors of Judah. Out of you will come forth a governor, who will shepherd my people, Israel.'”

2:7 Herod secretly called and interviewed the wise men to discover from them the exact time at which the star had appeared. 2:8 He sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and make careful inquiries concerning the young child. When you find him, report back to me, so that I can come and worship him too.”

2:9 After listening to the king they set out and the rising star went ahead of them, until it came to a full stop over the place where the child was. 2:10 When they saw the star had stopped, they were filled with an overwhelming joy. 2:11 They came into the house, saw the child with Mary, his mother, and fell down to worship him. Taking out their treasures, they gave him gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 2:12 And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they followed a different road back to their own country.

2:13 After they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and escape to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, because Herod is about to hunt for the child to kill him.” 2:14 He got up and left for Egypt during the night with the child and the child’s mother, 2:15 and stayed there until the death of Herod. This fulfilled what the Lord had predicted through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

2:16 Herod was furious when he saw that he had been fooled by the wise men. He ordered the extermination of every male child aged two or under in Bethlehem and its surrounding districts, in accordance with the time which he had learned from the wise men. 2:17 Jeremiah the prophet’s prediction was fulfilled: 2:18 “A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”

2:19 After Herod was dead, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, 2:20 “Get up, take the child and his mother, and go back to Israel. Those who wanted to kill the child are now dead.” 2:21 So he got up and took the child and his mother back to Israel. 2:22 But when he discovered that Archelaus was now king of Judea in the place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. After receiving a warning in another dream, he moved instead to the region of Galilee, 2:23 and came to live in a city called Nazareth. This fulfilled another prediction of the prophets: “He will be called a Nazarene.”

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