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Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23

Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23


Series: Christmas 2022
Sermon: Families on the Service of God
Bible Passage: Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23

I. Preliminary information

1. The focus of this passage is on how Jesus grew up in Nazareth instead of Bethlehem and how He came to be called “Nazorean”

a. Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the city of the King, but grew up in Nazareth (2:1, cf. Micah 5:1)—a blue-collar village opposed to a royal place
b. Jesus is the “King of the Jews” (2:2), a contrast from “King Herod”

i. Jesus is called “the born King of the Jews” compared to the appointed “King Herod”

a. The expression “the born King of the Jews” refers to the Messiah
b. Herod indirectly acknowledges Jesus “the Christ,” i.e., the Messiah (2:4)

ii. The Messiah would be “the Shepherd of God’s people” (2:6; cf. Micah 5:1)

c. The Scribes and experts of the Law knew the truth, yet they joined with Herod to harm Baby Jesus
d. Ironically, men of other nations “worship”/honor Jesus the King (2:2)

i. They travelled a long distance
ii. They brought gifts befitting the King—gold, frankincense, and myrrh (cf. Isa 60:6 a reflection of Gentiles moving towards God)
iii. They had the desire to worship the King of Jews; God gave them direction!
iv. They leave Bethlehem on a different route defying Herod the Great

II. Let’s shift to our passage (2:13-23)

1. Threat and potential harm await Baby Jesus who was in Bethlehem (verse 13)—even today, the Lord’s work is faced with stiff resistance of various forms
2. Instead of stopping Herod from harming Baby Jesus, God moves Him to Egypt (verse 13)

a. Joseph receives directions from God—
b. Joseph gives spiritual leadership to the family during threat and harm

i. God appointed Joseph to be the gatekeeper of the family
ii. In this passage, Joseph is characterized as:

a. A man of obedience
b. The protector of Mary and Baby Jesus
c. A man on God’s mission

3. Joseph and Mary now have a new mission to be busy with, i.e., to care for and bring up Baby Jesus

a. This involves going to places that are not necessarily comfortable (verse 14)
b. This involves physical efforts—travelling in the night to Egypt (verse 14)

4. Joseph learned to serve God

a. They stayed in Egypt—purposeful exile
b. They moved back to Judea
c. Now, they moved to the regions of Galilee, Nazareth—it was an insignificant place; Jesus brought significance to it

5. Though Mary is not named in these chapters, she appears to be compliant with Joseph’s leadership

6. Joseph and Mary formed a team to serve God—a family on the mission of God

III. Principles

1. When you are convinced about truth, stay in the side of the truth
2. God’s initiative of salvation is often faced with resistance, threat, and violence
3. But God’s plan can never be stopped by any force—social, political, or religious!
4. A lot of believers stop advancing God’s mission when they were faced with challenges—they stop attempting!
5. God ordained challenges are purposeful that need to be spiritually understood
6. Becoming busy with God’s purposes makes your life purposeful
7. Families need to be on the mission of God—families need to advance God’s interest

Take Away:

Become missionally purposeful

Speaker: William J. Subash

Born and raised in south India, William J. Subash became a follower of Jesus Christ in 1983 at the age of nineteen. After a brief career in a tea and coffee plantation, Subash decided to spend rest of his life to preach about Jesus and his life-transforming message of God, which is popularly known as “the Gospel.” Subash teaches New Testament Studies at two institutions: SAIACS in India and Liberty University Online, VA, USA. Currently, Subash serves as the chief point person for GROW Gospel Initiatives and the Lead Pastor of the Crossroad Church, Bangalore. Write to him at