Tuesday 17 September 2013

Bible Book:
Matthew

Matthew 2:1-12 Tuesday 17 September 2013


Background

Yesterday's passage concerned the personand the agenda of the Son of God being revealed first to two humbleJews, Mary and Joseph. Today's reading from Matthew 2 is aboutJesus being revealed to Gentile representatives of the rich andlearned. It is an early indication in Matthew's Gospel that God'schosen leader will reach far beyond the 'chosen people' of the OldTestament. The message of God's anointed one, Christ or Messiah, isfor all people.

Nevertheless, Jesus will be born a Jew, grow up as a Jew, and befirmly rooted in Jewish society. Matthew's Gospel, possibly writtenin Palestine for Jewish Christians living alongside other Jews, isintentional in trying to make bridges of understanding betweenbelievers and non-believers. Here the wise men visiting thenew-born baby in Bethlehem is an illustration of the 'kingship' ofJesus. Bethlehem was the birthplace of King David, and Joseph andMary were there for the census (Luke2:1-4) because of Joseph's Davidic descent. The genealogy of Matthew 1:1-17 has already authenticated thisdescent from a royal line. The wise men from the East, arriving inJerusalem, then reinforce this idea of royalty by asking, "Where isthe one who has been born king of the Jews?" Well, that certainlyupset King Herod's apple cart!

Kingship is a key emphasis for Matthew's Gospel, who whichwrites about the 'kingdom of God', although usually calls it'kingdom of heaven' (eg Matthew 3:2) because his mainly Jewish readerswould have avoided using the name of God. Many Jews believed thatGod's kingdom would come and there would be punishment for God'senemies; whereas Jesus said that the kingdom had started now,because he as king was present. Every time we say the Lord'sPrayer, we repeat the truth that the reign of God, the kingdom, ispresent. Matthew's Gospel further tells of God's sovereignty as itrelates the story of the king's right to judge (Matthew 25:31-46) and also the delegation ofhis kingly authority to his disciples in Matthew 28:16-20.

God's chosen leader has authority over our everyday lives,whoever we are, and whichever country we live in. He is sovereign.He is our king.


To Ponder

  • God is sovereign. Knowing that, what difference does it make toyour daily life?
  • Do you believe God's kingdom is present? If so, look out forGod's glimpses of glory today - and perhaps tell someone else aboutthem!¬†


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