10. Wise men from the East- Matt. 2:1-12
-The magi from the east came to Jerusalem first and met up with King Herod. He was a apprehensive ruler who was extremely paranoid to anyone who might possibly usurp his authority. His inquiry with the chief priests, scribes, and magi reveal his fear and suspicion in the matter. He was not the rightful heir to the throne of David. He was ruthless, as we will see, and had many enemies causing his great paranoia. *Application* We see the true wisdom and revelation of the magi here in this passage. They were warned to go back another way to avoid this evil king and they obeyed. We should also heed the warnings God gives us in our lives. He will always make a way out when we listen to His voice.
-The magi find the Christ Child in Bethlehem just as was prophesied (Micah 5:2). They come before Him and worship giving gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:11). *Application* These gifts from royalty had symbolic meaning as well. Gold symbolized His kingship and worthiness. Frankincense embodied deity. Myrrh was foreshadowing His death on the cross for the sins of mankind. These gifts, some scholars have speculated, were the means for Jesus and His family to escape to Egypt when Herod sent his men to destroy all the children two and under in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:16-18). Where God guides, He provides!
-The other item of note from this text is the fact that they came to worship Jesus in a house (Matthew 2:11). This more than likely indicates some significant passing of time between the Messiah’s birth and the visitation of the wise men, contrary to some Nativity scenes we see at Christmas. Jesus could have been as much as two years old at this point based on the age that Herod set for his inquisition (Matthew 2:16).
-Verse to Memorize- Matthew 2:11
11. Jesus’ circumcision- Luke 2:21
-Jesus was circumcised on the eighth day according to Jewish law (Leviticus 12:3). He and His family obeyed the Law in all ways. He was totally Jewish and subscribed to the LORD’s commands for life and worship perfectly (Hebrews 4:14-16). This was also the time when His Name became official. *Application* Christ was sealed by the covenant of the Law as prescribed by God. We in the same way are sealed for the day of redemption by the Holy Spirit when we trust to Christ for salvation (Ephesians 4:30). Baptism is now our outward manifestation and inward conviction of that covenant that God places on our lives as His children.
-Verse to Memorize- Luke 2:21
12. Infant Jesus presented at the Temple- Luke 2:22-24
-After the days of purification according to the law of Moses were completed, Jesus was brought up to the Holy City, Jerusalem to be presented to the Lord as the firstborn male (Exodus 13:2,12, Numbers 3:13; 8:17). His parents offered a sacrifice unto the Lord, by law, for this occasion, and it is notable that they were of the economic status to offer turtledoves or pigeons rather than a lamb, which was more expensive (Leviticus 5:7; 12:8). *Application* Again we see the obedience to cultural Jewish law given by God in the family of Jesus Christ. They were a humble, God fearing family that did things the right way. God will use the poor of this world to do great and mighty things for His Kingdom’s purposes. This is an example of that. In your life be willing to be used of the Lord. Follow His directions and obey His voice. There are no unimportant members of His family (1 Corinthians 12:13-27).
-Verse to Memorize- Matthew 2:23