Week of January 7 - Day 3

Day 3 Read: Matthew 2:3-8

3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

6 “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
    who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.”

Reflect: Why did Herod run to the chief priests and scribes for answers?

Consider: Here is as close to a straightforward prediction-fulfillment scheme as is found anywhere in Matthew. The context of the passage in Micah seems clearly messianic and was regularly so taken by pre-Christian Jews. The remainder of the verse which Matthew leaves unquoted (“whose origins are from of old, from ancient times”) suggests more than a mere mortal is in view. Perhaps Micah even had in mind the child of Isa 7:14 and 9:6. Certainly such a prophecy excludes many potential messianic aspirants and refutes the argument that Jesus claimed to be the Messiah simply by setting out to fulfill all of the Scriptures relevant to the office. He scarcely could have chosen his place of birth.[1]

Respond: When you face challenging situations, do you seek counsel from people who will speak truth or people who will confirm what you want to hear? The more we love controlling our own lives, the harder it is when we lose control. What is a natural first reaction when your personal “empire” feels threatened?

 

[1]  Craig Blomberg, Matthew, vol. 22, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1992), 64.