Here is a summary of our Bible
study on Sunday.
Who is Ruler? (Matthew 2)
was one of Jesus disciples. He spent over three years with Jesus, so he
knew the truth about Jesus. He knew that Jesus was the promised Messiah (Christ)
the ruler over Israel whose greatness [would] extend
to the ends of the earth (Micah 5:2, 4).
Jesus death and resurrection, the disciples proclaimed the good news about
him. Many people believed, but many others rejected the good news. The majority
of Jews had trouble accepting Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah. He did not meet
of the reasons Matthew wrote his Gospel was to help people, especially his fellow
Jews, to know that Jesus was (and is) the promised Messiah and Savior. So Matthews
Gospel often talks about how the coming of Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament Scriptures.
of David, Born in Bethlehem
of the things that troubled the Jews was Jesus hometown that is,
Nazareth in Galilee. They asked, How can the Messiah come from Galilee?
Does not Scripture say that the Messiah will come from Davids descendants
and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived? (John 7:41-42). How does
Matthew address these concerns?
1 begins, This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the
son of Abraham
(Matthew 1:1). Matthew makes it clear that Jesus is
a descendant of David.
2 begins, After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea
Matthew makes it clear that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, which was a fulfillment
of prophecy (2:4-6; Micah 5:2, 4).
why was Jesus called Jesus of Nazareth? Matthew tells us.
Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Magi from the east came looking for the
one who had been born king of the Jews. (2:1-2) These wise men
were not Jews but they came to honor and worship the king of the Jews. They seemed
to understand that this king was more than just another king. In fact, Jesus is
the ruler whose greatness [would] extend to the ends of the earth.
He is the King of kings (Revelation 17:14).
news of a newborn king greatly disturbed Herod the Great who was king
over Judea at that time (2:3). King Herod was a cruel, ruthless and insecure ruler.
He felt threatened by the existence of this newborn king. He found out the Messiah
was to be born in Bethlehem, and requested that the Magi find the child and report
to him so that [he] too may go and worship him (2:8).
Herod didnt want to worship Jesus. He wanted to eliminate him. But the Magi
did not cooperate with Herod. After the Magi visited Jesus and his parents (Mary
and Joseph), they returned home avoiding any contact with Herod.
the Magi left, an angel told Joseph to take Jesus and Mary to Egypt because Herod
intended to find Jesus and kill him (2:13). So Joseph took them to Egypt.
found out the Magi had gone back without reporting to him, he was furious,
and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were
two years old and under (2:16). Of course, this great evil caused much sorrow
in Bethlehem, but the Savior had been saved.
Herod died in 4 BC, an angel told Joseph, Get up, take the child and his
mother to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the childs
life are dead (2:20). However, Herods son Archelaus was now ruling
in Judea, and he was also cruel and oppressive. So they went past Judea to Nazareth
in Galilee, which was Joseph and Marys earlier hometown (Luke 1:26-27).
fulfilled what the prophets had said: He will be called a Nazarene (2:23).
is not a direct quotation from the Old Testament but summarizes a theme of prophetic
expectation. Nazareth and Nazarenes were belittled and despised (Luke 1:46; Acts
24:5) and the Old Testament prophets said the Messiah would be despised and rejected
was despised and rejected to the point of death on a cross. But Jesus endured
and overcame. He was raised from the dead thus providing the way of salvation
into an everlasting kingdom of peace and righteousness.
is the King of kings the ruler whose greatness will reach to the ends of
the earth. The Magi seemed to understand something about this, but Herod felt
threatened by it, and violently reacted to it.
Herod was extreme! But similar leaders, governments, institutions and movements
still exist. People feel threatened by the rule of Jesus Christ so they are willing
to mistreat, oppress and even kill members of Christs Body the Church.
This is happening in various places in our world today.
the question Who is Ruler? is also a personal question. Each of us
should ask the question, Who is ruler of my life? As the King of kings,
Jesus should be! As the Giver of everlasting life, and the one mediator between
God and mankind, Jesus should be! Do you have questions about this?
sisters, you have already declared that Jesus is your Ruler. In what ways is this
evident in your daily life? Reflect on Matthew 22:37-39 and daily commit to follow