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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Matthew Chapter 2

Matthew Chapter 2

Magi come from the East following the signs in nature that something new has come. They come to find a king and yet the Jews do not know of him, nor the secular rulers. The distant Magi are more in tune with the divine workings through nature than the close by leaders with Scripture. Some times distance and a change of perspective will reveal what cannot be seen up close.

Scripture supports what nature had revealed and the Magi discerned: the time, place and person of the Christ. But the Magi by turning to the rulers of the land while searching for the Christ alert those rulers to the birth of the Christ. Immediately plots and actions are put into place to stop the Christ from coming. But God cannot be easily thwarted. Like the dream that warned Joseph of the proper action towards Mary, so the Magi receive a dream of the proper action towards Herod.

The Magi had to come but in so doing they alerted Herod to Jesus existence causing problems whereas Joseph and family had to flee until the problem was dealt with. In life we are often the source of problems, even unknowingly. We are also the receiver of problems. God did not need Joseph in Egypt; he just needed them away from Jerusalem. Sometimes we see solutions as an ending but it is just a moment in time until the next step of the journey is readied for us. Herod could have responded in many ways but his choice sent Joseph and family on a certain course of action. Joseph could have become bitter towards Herod, or even God for those events. And perhaps he did, but he stayed faithful. Later they were able to return to the Promised Land. The events of today may change tomorrow and the outcome may be different then we expect. But staying with God, in God, will bring about the best possible outcome even if the moment seems lost. Despair is looking at the past leading to the present, not the present leading to the future. Hope is looking towards the future standing in the present. Magi came in hope of finding the King. Joseph hopeful of the future obeyed God and fled to Egypt even thought it was an uncertain move.

Dreams and nature play important roles in this chapter. Nature brings the Magi to Jesus. Dreams help to determine the safest course of actions. How often do we turn to nature to find the way or listen to dreams to discern the correct course of actions? But also throughout this chapter Scripture appears. Scripture confirms what is known through nature or dreams. The three work together to discern, affirm and confirm the way to God.

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