Out of Egypt (Matthew #4)

Text: Matthew 2:11-15

First, to dispel some myths.  The wise men enter a house, not a stable; when they were come into the house.  Worship is directed toward the Lord Jesus Christ, not Mary; and worshipped him.  Jesus is not a baby anymore.  He is a young child.  Herod will hunt down the boys 2 and under, so Herod believes Jesus could be as old as 2 years old.  The wise men are not kings and you aren’t told how many there are.

Matthew is showing the Lord Jesus Christ as the King of the Jews, though at this point he is the Prince.  Everything Matthew records, of all the things he could’ve recorded, he points out details where Jesus Christ fulfills prophecy in relation to him being the King of Jews.

Now to our text.  Verses 11-15 in Matthew 2 deal with Jesus Christ being called out of Egypt and the circumstances surrounding that fulfillment.

  • Matthew is the only one who talks about the wise men bringing gifts.
  • And he’s the only one who talks about Jesus Christ being called out of Egypt as a child.
  • My question when reading this was what does one have to do with the other?  Why does Matthew insert the gifts right alongside Mary and Joseph fleeing to Egypt?
  • In two years of Jesus’ life what Matthew chose to highlight was the wise men, their gifts, and the family fleeing to Egypt then coming back to Israel.

Let’s begin in verse 11 to see what the wise men and their gifts have to do with the fulfillment of the prophecy that God’s Son would be called out of Egypt.

Role worship played

  • Look at verse 11.  Notice these wise men worshipped Jesus Christ by giving him very valuable items.
  • Now many folks have set out to describe the significance of the wise men’s gifts in symbolic terms. The gold represented this, the frankincense represented that, and the myrrh represents this.  But the value of these gifts is not in their symbolism, the value of these gifts is in their actual cost.
  • Joseph and Mary were not wealthy people.  Look over in Luke 2:21-24. The sacrifice brought by Mary is the sacrifice new mothers bring if they can’t afford the prescribed sacrifice in Leviticus 12.  Joseph and Mary are not wealthy people. Traveling is expensive. It’s usually something you plan for. It’s not something you decide to do in a matter of hours.
  • Worship is valuable when it has a price
    • The verse says and when they had opened their treasures.
    • The value of their worship was what it cost them.
    • 2 Samuel 24:24
  • Matthew 6:19-21 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
  • Their act of worship was used to move God’s work forward.
    • God used the worship of the wise men to continue his work and protect Joseph, Mary, and Jesus.
    • Joseph and Mary leave for Egypt in a hurry, but they are not rich people.  And as we said, long trips are usually planned out. God made provision through the costly gifts the wise men brought.
    • Some Christians are spiritual welfare recipients where they get, but never give.  They enjoy the work being done, but aren’t part of moving the work forward at all.  And if they treated their job like they treat their walk with Jesus Christ, they wouldn’t hold a job for longer than a week.  No dependability. No responsibility. No availability. I show up when I want to. I do things on my terms. I don’t take direction.  And I have no idea how I fit into the bigger picture.
  • Don’t know if the wise men choose to give these expensive gifts because they know Joseph and Mary are not going to have money to get to Egypt or not.
  • Wise men worship contrasted with worship in word only by Herod

Rule of a godly man

  • If God can’t lead you, He can’t use you.
  • Matthew 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.  If the Spirit of God can lead you, then wherever you are, no matter the circumstance is where God wants you. There is great peace in that.
  • Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
  • Galatians 5:18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
  • Joseph is a man God can lead.  
    • This family has to be a very special family to God the Father.
    • God the Father has chosen a man He can lead and therefore His only begotten Son will be protected because of his stepfather’s obedience.
  • Joseph is compassionate
    • …was minded to put her away privily. (1:19)
    • Before Joseph understands what’s going on he chooses mercy.
    • He is a just man.
    • Joseph is an example of righteousness that exceeds the law.
  • Joseph obeys when God speaks and that is what protects his family
    • Back in Matthew 1:20-25 Joseph obeys God’s instructions to him.
    • Now in 2:13-15, he keeps the devil from destroying the child by obeying God.
    • James 4:7-8 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

Relationship of God’s children to Egypt

  • All of God’s children come out of Egypt spiritually.  In the Old Testament most of the spiritual truths were illustrated physically.
    • Abraham
    • Jacob
    • Joseph
    • Moses and Israel
  • Spiritually called out of Egypt
  • Isaiah 31:1 Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help… (Isaiah 31:1, 3)