Reading through the Bible together

Monday, November 3, 2014

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When was the last time God spoke to you?  In the second chapter of Matthew we see how God starts speaking to His people again after a few centuries of silence between the O.T. and the N.T. when there was no prophet or new Scripture. He speaks to Joseph in a dream and tells him that Mary is pregnant by the Holy Spirit and that he should go ahead and marry her. Then He speaks to magi through the star and in a dream (Matt. 2:2, 12). He speaks to Herod and the priests through the Scripture (Matt. 2:3-4). Then God speaks to Joseph in a dream again (Matt. 2:13) and again (Matt. 2:19) telling him what to do (Matt. 2:22).

It seems like Matthew wanted to emphasize that God uses regular people. He wanted the readers and the hearers to see that it is the obedience of real people that helped God's plan on earth to be fulfilled.

In chapter two we also meet four groups of people with whom we can identify. The first group is the wise men from the East. They come to worship Jesus the King. Perhaps, they were ancient astronomers and God spoke to them using their language. They followed the star. Then there was Herod, who wanted to kill Jesus. Herod was afraid that Jesus could possibly take his throne. The third group is the Scribes and the priests. They knew the prophecy, they knew ever book in the O.T., but they did not understand, or did not want to understand what it meant. Finally, the fourth group - Joseph and Mary, as we mentioned, who believed and followed the will of God.

Just imagine what Joseph must have felt when he heard that His fiancé was pregnant and he was not the father. But then, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and he listened, believed, and obeyed. But God did not stop there. He sent Joseph and Mary to Egypt. Joseph continued to obey the will of God because he felt he was entrusted with an enormous task of guarding the Messiah’s life.

It is interesting to see how obedient simple people like Joseph and Mary were and it is sad to see how meticulous students of the Bible, like the priests, closed their eyes to the greatest prophecy of the Messiah. Today God is also willing to entrust His people with a great task, to carry the message of Jesus to the whole world.

Oleg Kostyuk
Host of Cross Connection
Hope Channel