Why does Matthew tell us in chapter 2 about dreams, a murderous king and a quick escape to Egypt? Matthew 2:13-15
13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
RT France says that what comes out clearly in Matthew chapter 2 is “the parallel between the childhood of Jesus and the experiences of Moses. Herod and Pharaoh order the destruction of the young children, but never the-less God’s appointed deliverer escapes their grasp.” God communicates to the parents of both in dreams to tell them the action to take to protect their sons from the murderous king.
Matthew makes explicit the parallels with Moses and Israel in Egypt in verse 15: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
RT France says, “In Egypt, then, God now kept his Son safe, as he had preserved Israel there long ago and out of Egypt he would soon call him to his work of redemption … Matthew’s quotation [of Hosea 11:1] thus depends for its validity on the recognition of Jesus as the true Israel… Israel’s exodus from Egypt was already taken by the Old Testament prophets as a prefiguring of the ultimate salvation [through the Messiah], and Matthew’s quotation here thus reinforces his presentation of the childhood history of Jesus as the dawning of the Messianic age.”
While God uses extraordinary means to communicate with Joseph and Mary (and God can use whatever means he wishes to prod us today), the emphasis of the passage is on Jesus as Israel and the world’s long awaited rescuer. The emphasis of the passage is not about our experience of dreams etc., but about how Jesus is God with Us, the long awaited Saviour of the world. As Jesus himself will begin to announce in adulthood about his coming, “the kingdom of heaven has come near” (Matthew 4:17).
Head: Do you see the deliberate parallels between Jesus and Moses/Israel in Matthew chapter 2?
Heart: How do you feel about the wonderful reality that in the person of Jesus, God really has come near?
Hands: If the world’s Saviour has come in Jesus, if God has come near in Jesus, what can you do to help your church make Jesus known to more and more people?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank for Matthew’s Gospel, which clearly announces that Jesus is the fulfilment all that was promised and longed for in the Old Testament. I rejoice that you, 0 God, have come near to humanity in Jesus, so near that you became one of us, to both reveal yourself and to represent us at the cross and then in heaven. Open my heart and eyes to see how my hands my help my church make Jesus known to more and more people. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
A song to listen to: Shine into our Night https://open.spotify.com/track/4DP85J52lN1CfcaOQ0nqtp
From RT France, Matthew, Tyndale NT Commentary
This Grow Daily was originally posted as part of the God With Us – Matthew series. During the School Holidays we take the opportunity to look back at the Grow Dailys over the years.