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Lesson 3
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Lesson 3

I.       Observation

A.     Outline

Visit of the Wise Men (2:1-12)

The wise men’s inquiry (1-2)

Herod’s anxiety and plot (3-8)

Finding and worshiping Jesus (9-11)

Returning by another route (12)

Escape to Egypt (2:13-18)

Angel’s instruction and the flight to Egypt (13-15)

Massacre of infants (16-18)

Return to Nazareth (2:19-23)

B.     Key Words/Phrases

King of the Jews, worship, fulfilled, child

II.    Segment Analysis

1. King Herod, along with all Jerusalem, was disturbed by the news. It is obvious that Herod felt threatened by the birth of this “King of the Jews,” since he himself was supposed to be the king. The reaction of the people could have come from a mix of uncertainty about the outcome of this event and an eager expectation of the promised Shepherd of Israel.

2. He was crafty; he tricked the wise men into believing that he also wanted to worship the child king. He had no concern for the people whom he was ruling over. Because of his lust for power and selfishness, he would rather kill all the innocent infants than give up his throne.

3. He was the ruler from Judah (6). He brought justice and truth to His people and established God’s kingdom on earth. He carried authority and power, and people of all nations will worship Him.

He was the Shepherd. He tended his flock with love and compassion. He came to seek the lost and provide healing (Isa 40:11; Ezek 34:11-16). According to Jn 10, He was the good shepherd who even laid down his life for the sheep.

4. Ps 72:10-11 and Isa 60:6 prophesied that foreign kings would come and bow down to the King of Israel and bring Him tribute. The writer probably has this prophecy in mind when he records this visit. The wise men must have also understood the extraordinary nature of this king’s birth. The universal reign and influence that Jesus would have on this world explains the wise men’s diligent and persistent efforts to travel long distances to seek and worship this king.

5. Herod actually had no intention whatsoever to worship Christ. So he did not even make an effort to look for Jesus. Instead, he simply asked the wise men to report his whereabouts. The wise men, on the contrary, earnestly and persistently inquired of the people and sought for the king until they finally reached the house where Jesus was. It was to such people that God provides guidance and revelation in their search.

6. Because God’s will in our lives often runs contrary to our personal wants and interests, we may feel threatened to allow God to work. We have to remove our pride, selfishness, or pleasure and humbly submit to God regardless of the cost. Such self-denial, required of all the followers of Christ, is what it takes to remove the obstacles in obeying God.

7. In this story, the people of Bethlehem wept just as the Israelites wept when they passed through Ramah during exile. Incidentally, Herod’s atrocity and the weeping of the people could be representative of the evil of sin and the captivity of God’s people under sin. Therefore, the citation of Jeremiah’s prophecy was appropriate not only because of the weeping that had occurred but also its connection to the condition of God’s people. According to Jeremiah’s prophecy (Jer 31:16-17), the people will be comforted when God brings the people back from exile. Likewise, God’s people will also be comforted when Jesus, the true King of the Jews, delivers them from their sins.

8. We can learn from his unconditional obedience and quick response to God’s word. Although he was the head of the house, he submitted to the Lord’s guidance. Throughout the story, he never spoke a word. Instead of reasoning with God, he simply trusted God in every incident.

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