Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Adult Bible Study on Matthew 2; Luke 2:41-52 - The Visit of the Magi

Matthew 2; Luke 2:41-52

(New International Version)

The Magi Visit the Messiah

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi[a] from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
    who will shepherd my people Israel.’[b]

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

The Escape to Egypt

13 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.”

14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 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.”[c]

16 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. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:

18 “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.”[d]

The Return to Nazareth

19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”

21 So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, 23 and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.



1. Why is it significant that Magi from the east came to worship Jesus?


In giving these wise men from another country a sign to follow in the star, God shows us again that Jesus is the savior and lord of all people, not the Jews only.



2. What does it mean to think of Jesus as a shepherd-ruler (verse 6)?


A shepherd leads, cares for, and protects the sheep. He is also in authority over the sheep.



3. Why did the Magi give Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh?


Gold showed Jesus’ identity as a king. Frankincense was used in the incense in the Temple, showing Jesus’ identity as priest. And myrrh was used to anoint bodies for burial, showing that Jesus would be our savior when He died.



4. Verse 23 says the prophets foretold Jesus would be a Nazarene. While there is no existing prophecy so direct as to name Nazareth, we do have a prophecy concerning the region of Galilee, which is where Nazareth was.


Isaiah 9:1-2 - Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan—


2 The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.



Nazareth also sounds like the word "branch" in Greek, so Matthew could be making a play on words, referring to Isaiah 11:1

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
    from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.



5. In Luke 2, we read a story about Jesus visiting the Temple. Why was it important for Him to be in “His Father’s house”?


Jesus always set the example for us. In this story, Jesus was showing us it’s important to worship and learn about God together as a church. When we come together as a church, the place where we're meeting becomes holy because God is there with us, just as the Temple was holy because God's Presence resided there.




What to do after reading this passage

Take a moment to reflect on how your church gathering is a holy occasion. 


Is there a way you can show more respect for it being holy? 


Does something need to change in the church to make it more holy?




Do you have another insight into this passage? Please share below!




No comments:

Post a Comment