From the pen of Dr. Sam Jones
The Bible reading for today is Matthew 2:1-23 and Luke 2:39-52. These two narratives offer information related to the early childhood of Jesus. Allow me to mention in this Spiritual Moment four thoughts, from the reading, for your consideration and reflection as you face the challenges of life.
The first thought, God’s promises are great and precious (2 Pet. 1:4), and He fulfills, not some, but all of His promises (Heb. 10:23). In Matthew 2, promises and prophecies of God are kept and fulfilled. One of the promises is related to where Jesus was going to be born. Micah had predicted out of Bethlehem would come forth the ruler of Israel (Mic. 5:2). Matthew’s account informs us, Jesus was “born in Bethlehem of Judea” (Matt. 2:1). A prophecy given by Hosea stating the Messiah would come from Egypt was fulfilled (Hos. 11:1). Joseph had to escape with his family to Egypt to save his family; he remained in Egypt until the death of Herod, then God “called” for Jesus to be returned to his place of residence in Galilee. Also, a prophecy given by Jeremiah was fulfilled (Jer. 31:15). God has kept every promise that He had made; it’s impossible for God to lie (Tit. 1:2). Therefore, we can take great comfort in this fact that God will keep the promises made to us. Also, every prophecy of the Bible will be fulfilled. The prophecy related to the second coming of Christ is going to happen. One day, you can be sure the world will see Him coming in the cloud (cf. Rev. 1:7).
A second thought, just because someone hears something for years – doesn’t make it right. As a child, we sang Christmas carols and heard Bible stories about the 3 wise men or magi. Well, a careful look at Matthew 2 reveals that the author never mentions the number of wise men. Over the years, people have assumed there were 3 wise men because of the 3 gifts. This assumption is not Biblical.
A third thought from Matthew chapter 2 is, be careful Satan wants to use you to fulfill his mission. Let’s not forget, Satan since his removal from heaven has been consumed with a twofold mission. The first mission was to stop the birth of Jesus – the male child (Rev. 12:13). Well, he employed Herod and he was willing to be used. Herod had a plan to kill Jesus, but God intervened. The second mission is to destroy the church – the woman (Rev. 12:14). Remember, just like God delivered and protected Jesus – He will deliver and protect us (I Cor. 12:13).
The fourth thought comes from Luke’s reading – Is Jesus with you? Joseph, Mary and Jesus had returned to Galilee, and Luke’s narrative picks up when Jesus was 12 years of age. Jesus’ parents made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to keep the Law of Moses. Like good Jews, they kept the law. Starting their journey home, supposing Jesus to be with them, they traveled a complete day without Jesus. The million-dollar question for today is, “Is Jesus with you?” Don’t be like Mary and Joseph thinking He is in your company. Make sure Jesus is with you (cf. I Jo. 5:13).
May God bless each of you with a great weekend; don’t forget to make plans to attend Bible class and worship on Sunday.