Matthew Lesson 2 Day 2

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Matthew Lesson 2 Day 2

Matthew 2:1-8

Astronomers/astrologers from the East

3) Shepherds, wise men, and Herod the Great

A stir begins as soon as Christ is born. He has not spoken a word; he has not wrought a miracle; he has not proclaimed a single doctrine; but ‘when Jesus was born,’ at the very first, while as yet you hear nothing but infant cries, and can see nothing but infant weakness, still his influence upon the world is manifest. ‘When Jesus was born, there came wise men from the east,’ and so on. There is infinite power even in an infant Savior. (Spurgeon)

Shepherds in the fields near Bethlehem

Luke’s account includes shepherds living out in the fields with their sheep. He says these shepherds were “in the same country.” So it seems they were nearby when Jesus was born in a stable. That could be why the stable wasn’t occupied and was available for Joseph and Mary.

“Sheep were kept out in the open between March and December.”5

As Spurgeon pointed out, unlike the wise men, the shepherds were at the right place at the right time.

The Magi from the east

Misconceptions and legends abound about these wise men. They were not kings but wise men, which means they were astronomers. There were not only three, but probably a great company. They seem to have come not on the birth night, but probably several months later.1
In later centuries down to New Testament times, the term [magoi] loosely covered a wide variety of men interested in dreams, astrology, magic, books thought to contain mysterious references to the future, and the like.
The tradition that the Magi were kings can be traced as far back as Tertullian (died c. 225). It probably developed under the influence of Old Testament passages that say kings will come and worship the Messiah (cf. Psalms 68:29, 31; 72:10-11; Isaiah 49:7; 60:1-6).” (Carson)1

They saw the star signifying the birth of the king of the Jews. They traveled a great distance seeking to worship Him.

In the days of King Herod—Herod the Great

Jesus was born during his reign. When he heard about the Magi’s search for the king of the Jews, he questioned them—feigning a similar interest in offering worship.

Chief priests and teachers of the law

King Herod sought their knowledge concerning the prophesied birthplace of the king. He considered the birth of this infant a formidable threat to his reign.

4) World views of Biblical principals and Christ followers

  • Those who are wise seek Jesus and desire to worship Him.
  • Some believers seek to reform Christianity into a newly enlightened version that ignores the sanctity of life in favor of the mother’s right to choose and the right to choose how a person defines marriage and their own sex.
  • Others, like the Pharisees, enslave followers under their legalistic blend of law and grace.
  • Increasingly, many see Jesus as a threat to their self-centered, immoral way of life and denounce all believers as deceived and Christianity the root cause of any and all injustice.
  • Some believe all religion is a crutch and there is no such thing as a creator.
  • Those who are blatantly anti-Christ and see believers as infidels.

5) Favorite verses that have guided and inspired me since I was a teen.

But if [wherever you find yourself] you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 4:29

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
    my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
    as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
    beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
    my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
    in your name I will lift up my hands.

My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
    and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
when I remember you upon my bed,
    and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
for you have been my help,
    and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
    your right hand upholds me. Psalm 63:1-8

If I looked back over the path I’ve traveled, I hope I’d see it littered with selfish thoughts, ways, and plans I’ve left behind in pursuit my beloved, Yeshua.


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RESOURCES

1 EnduringWord.com used by written permission.
2 AWM Living Commentary used by written permission.
3 Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations from *The ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
4 Strong’s Concordance, public domain.
5 *Spirit Filled Life Bible®copyright © 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. (The Holy Bible, New King James Bible) copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
6 Ellicott’s Commentary, public domain.
7 Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, public domain.
8 The Names of God Bible (without notes) © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group.

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My answers, research, and notes for BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Matthew Lesson 2 Day 2