Today’s Bible study lesson comes from Matthew 2:19-23 and tells the Christmas story about Jesus the Nazarene. This passage of Scripture reminds us why Jesus came to Earth to save us from our sins.
Remember in Luke’s verses, Mary and Joseph had to flee to Egypt with their baby to save him from Herod’s decree.
After Herod died, an angel appeared and directed Joseph to take Jesus to Israel and, by way of providence, to Nazareth. This was necessary because Herod’s death did not end Jesus’ life threat. Herod’s successor, Archelaus, was just as determined to kill Jesus.
Joseph knew they needed to take Jesus to a safe and secure location. Nazareth was the most suitable place, as it was a small town where Jesus could grow up in relative obscurity. So, God provided Joseph with the guidance and protection necessary to bring Jesus to a peaceful and safe home.
The Christmas Story – Jesus the Nazarene
But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord *appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, and said, “Get up, take the Child and His mother, and go into the land of Israel; for those who sought the Child’s life are dead.”
So Joseph got up, took the Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel.
But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there.
Then after being warned by God in a dream, he left for the regions of Galilee, and came and lived in a city called Nazareth.
This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophets: “He shall be called a Nazarene.” – Matthew 2:19-23 NASB
Jesus Becomes a Nazarene
The Old Testament does not record this specific statement, ‘He will be called a Nazarene.’ But, many scholars believe, however, that Matthew referred to Isaiah 11:1 which is ..
“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.”
The Hebrew word for ‘branch’ is like Nazarene. Maybe he quoted a prophecy not recorded in the Bible. Either way, this is a powerful prophecy that points to Jesus as the fulfillment of God’s promises.
Emmanuel (God with Us)
In any case, Matthew paints the picture of Jesus as the true Messiah announced by God through the prophets.
And he makes the point that Jesus, the Messiah, had unexpectedly humble beginnings, just as the Old Testament had predicted ..
“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity.” – Micah 5:2 NASB
God Works in His Way
It’s a marvel how this chain of events took place that protected Jesus and brought Him out of harm’s way. This took place so Jesus could fulfill His destiny..
A destiny that included living among us, dying on the cross and rising again so we might live. By divine intervention, Jesus fulfilled His destiny and saved us. He provided the ultimate gift of eternal life. From this lesson, we learn that Jesus’ life was indeed a destiny fulfilled with love and mercy for all.
Love in Christ
Yes, you can receive the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ. Please take a moment to look at John 3:16 and see how.