Matthew 2:13-23 (NIV)
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.” 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.”
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.
When, like Herod, have you ever felt threatened by the kingship of Jesus?
We live in a time and a place where power and self-gratification reigns. We want to be our own king and are threatened by Your sovereign majesty. You are a King who requires faithfulness, surrender, and trust. You demand humility, sacrifice, loving our neighbor through the role of a servant and it contrasts the hunger for selfish power. To acknowledge You as the King of Kings would suggest that we would be subject to Your will and not our own. To all like Herod, who want to be their own king, to all who trust in their own sufficiency, to those who are hungry for power and control, the birth of Jesus is a threat to our sense of autonomy. You expose our empty attempts at preservation and challenge our claims at kingship. You unmask our religious piety and shine a light on our deepest desires. Jesus, you came into this world to fight the darkness of evil and sin in our lives. You take the blame for everyone’s sin on yourself and sacrifice them on the cross. You remove our selfishness, our resentments, and sins and offer us grace. Lord, I long for a righteous King. I am unable to save myself and I am incapable of ruling my own life. Help me to let go of self-control and selfishness and give me genuine hunger and thirst for Your righteousness. Thank You for coming into this world at Christmas to be my eternal King. You are the King of peace. You are the King of joy, justice, and righteousness. I submit my life to You and to Your kingdom. Amen