Jesus’ Family Flees
37 verses total: Matthew 2:1-23; Luke 2:39-52
Brief description of action taking place or point being made
13. Wise men bring gifts in Matthew 2:1-12.
14. Joseph’s family escapes to Egypt in Matthew 2:13-15.
15. Herod’s wrath on Bethlehem’s children in Matthew 2:16-18.
16. Joseph’s family settles in Nazareth in Matthew 2:19-23; Luke 2:39
17. Childhood of Jesus in Luke 2:40-52
1. What is your favorite verse or set of verses? Why?
2. Did you learn anything from the reading or find anything particularly cool? What?
3. Was there anything unclear in the passage that you have questions about? What are they?
After Completing the Bible Reading
Broader outline of each section of passage
Matthew 2:1-12. Wise men from the east saw a star that told them that the King of the Jews was being born, and the traveled from afar to worship him. They stopped in Jerusalem to ask King Herod where the baby was. The religious leaders of the Jews told Herod and the wise men that such a child would be born in Bethlehem, in accordance with Old Testament prophecies. So the wise men went to Jerusalem and found Jesus and worshipped him and gave him costly gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Then they returned to their homeland, not returning to Herod to tell him they had found the baby, since they were warned in a dream not to.
Matthew 2:13-15. Soon after the wise men departed, and angel warned Joseph in a dream to take his whole family and flee to Egypt, because Herod was going to try to kill Jesus. So Joseph did as he was told.
Matthew 2:16-18. Herod ordered all boys two years old and under in Bethlehem and surrounding areas to be killed, because he was trying to kill Jesus.
Matthew 2:19-23 and Luke 2:39. After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream (this was at least the third time now this happened), and told him to return to Israel. He considered settling in Judea, but was afraid of Herod’s son, so settled in Galilee, in the town of Nazareth where he and Mary lived before they were married.
Luke 2:40-52. When Jesus was 12 years old, after he and his family went to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover feast, he stayed behind without his parents’ knowledge. His parents thought he was with relatives in the group of people returning to Nazareth. But after a day, they were worried, and decided to return to Jerusalem, where they found him in the temple, astonishing learned men with his understanding of the Scriptures.
My favorite passage and other random thoughts
My favorite verse from the reading is Matthew 2:2, which says “‘Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him'” (ESV). I guess I would tack on verses 9-11, because those verses pick up with the star once again leading the wise men to Jesus, and then them worshiping Jesus.
This whole thing is too much for me to imagine. How could a star actually lead people to a house? I just can’t even imagine how that would be possible. Makes you wonder if an angel shining brightly might have been the star they saw. In any case, what I like about this, and what impresses me so much, is that these wise men not only were sensitive to the leadings they got to the extent that they were willing to travel a great distance to worship a baby they believed was born to be a great king.
Keep in mind that they didn’t even worship the same God that the Jewish people worshipped — or at least if they did, they did not know God in the same way that the Jewish people did. But it was these men who spontaneously came to worship, while Herod sought to kill, and apart from the shepherds and Simeon and Anna in the temple, few Jewish people took note of.
I long to be as sensitive to signals around me about important spiritual events. I long to be so devoted that I would drop what I was doing and get thoroughly involved in the Lord’s plan, rather than being driven by a routine and a schedule that doesn’t allow time for spontaneity (i.e., following God’s Spirit).