The Escape to Egypt: Matthew 2.13-18

When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.” When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”

The names that Matthew calls Jesus are interesting. He is called the Son of Abraham (1.1); the Son of David (1.1); the Son of Joseph (1.16); the Son of Mary (1.16); and the Son of God (2.15). What is the significance of these names? What do they describe about his character? The Son of Abraham and the Son of David describe the roots of Jesus as being Jewish. The Son of Joseph and the Son of Mary describe his human-natural person. The Son of God describes his divine-supernatural person.

The Comparison of Jesus With Moses
It is Matthew’s intention to help the believers understand that Jesus was the new leader of the new people of God. For the Jews, Moses was hailed as their leader, and the Covenant was the relationship code which the Jews were to abide by. With Jesus there was a new people of God—the church. The church has a new leader—Jesus. So Matthew takes time to demonstrate and contrast events in their lives. His basic goal is for his readers to see Jesus as the new leader for the new Israel.

In this section we encounter the comparison of an event during the early life of Moses and Jesus. In Exodus 1 we are told the story of Pharaoh killing all the males two years old and younger. The same kind of event happened in the early life of Jesus. Herod heard about Jesus from the MAGI and put out an order for all the males under two to be killed. In both events, the enemy of God tried to dismantle God’s plan for redemption—Israel under Moses and mankind under Christ. He was not successful on either occasion.

Some Basic Affirmations
Jesus is compared to Moses to demonstrate Jesus as the New Moses with a New Israel. God provides for the care and protection of his own. Could the trip to Egypt and the time spent there have been financed by the gifts from the wise men which God had sent?
This is an illustration of what men will do to get rid of Jesus. A man who is set in his own way, who sees Jesus as one who will interfere with his ambitions and rebuke his ways, can be driven to almost anything to eliminate Jesus.

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