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Matthew 2:13-15

A Time to Grow

13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. 14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: 15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.


Commentators have not focused a lot of attention on this passage of scripture. There is no great drama here, no great miracle to protect the Son of God from this wicked Satanic attack. Joseph was told by an angel to pack up his family and to run for their lives into a foreign country. While the message was heaven sent, the faith of Jesus' parents must nevertheless have been severely tested. Why would the Son of God be forced to run from this evil man?

We have the advantage in that we can look back and see the broader picture. There were no problems for Jesus and His family during these first two years. He remained an obscure figure, drawing little attention to Himself. It was a time for growth and development.

His problems began when the magi told king Herod that they had come to worship the Christ. Suddenly He became an international figure, a controversial and potential replacement of the present king. He was a threat, and that would cause a drastic reaction.

Now, if God had used some great demonstration of His power to protect the child, it would only have caused more attention and possibly threatened the status quo of more people. At only two years old, Jesus was not ready for such things. Thus, He was taken to Egypt and then back to Nazareth where He was able to grow, to learn, and to mature in almost complete privacy.

Matthew pointed out that this also fulfilled a prophecy of Hosea 11:1, "When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt." The nation Israel was led to Egypt where it grew until God was ready to bring it to the promised land. This was typical of what God would do for His Son, Jesus.

It is also God's way of dealing with the young and immature Christian. We are not called to difficult tasks until we are ready. An infant cannot face the likes of Herod, and there are many such enemies of Christ in this world. New Christians must be nurtured, taught, encouraged and given time to mature before they are turned lose into full spiritual warfare. This is the task of the church. If it is not done, many will fall in their faith.

A missionary from Kenya was at our church this week making a plea for help to train pastors in his country. It seems there is such a great awakening sweeping his country that tens of thousands of new Christians are left without any follow up training. They get together and elect a pastor and form a church body, but many times that pastor is only a two day old Christian. As a result, much of the Bible is misinterpreted and many heresies are adopted by the churches.

These pastors are not ready to lead and train others. It is their duty, as it is every Christian's duty, to study and to learn everything we can about the word of God, but that takes time.

Before The Throne:

Pray about your own spiritual journey. Where do you stand on the maturity scale? Are you ready to take on the Herods of this world? If you are not, pray that God will help you find a place where you can serve Him that will give you the opportunity to mature. Perhaps you are a trained church leader, maybe a worship leader. Pray that God would show you where you need to focus your ministry, in order to help others become mature in their walk with Christ.

For Further Study:

(v.13)
** the angel. Matt 1:20; Acts 5:19; Acts 10:7, 22; Acts 12:11; Heb 1:13-14; ** Arise. Matt 10:23; Rev 12:6, 14; ** until. Josh 3:13, 17; Josh 4:10, 18; Dan 3:25-26; Acts 16:36; ** for. Exod 1:22; Exod 2:2-3; Job 33:15, 17; Acts 7:19; Rev 12:4;

(v.14) ** Matt 1:24; Acts 26:21;

(v.15) ** until. Acts 12:1-4, 23-24; ** that. Matt 1:22; Matt 4:14-15; Matt 8:17; Matt 12:16-18; Matt 21:4; Matt 26:54, 56; Matt 27:35; Luke 24:44; John 19:28, 36; Acts 1:16; ** Out. Exod 4:22; Num 24:8; Hos 11:1;

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