Monday, December 20, 2010: Matthew 1:20 – 23 (NKJV)
But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
Why are the names Immanuel and Jesus different? Man can never be in the direct presence of God, unless He was born as Jesus, a ‘Son of Man’.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010: Matthew 2:3 – 6 (NKJV)
When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:
‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
Are not the least among the rulers of Judah;
For out of you shall come a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.’”
Why was Herod and the people of Jerusalem troubled? The ‘people’ probably referred to the Chief priests and Scribes who saw a King as a threat to their tenuous hold on power under Rome.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010: Matthew 2:13 – 15 (NKJV)
Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.” When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”
If Joseph could not afford much, how could he flee with Mary and the Child to Egypt on short notice? The gifts of the Magi may have financed the journey and stay in Egypt.
Thursday, December 23, 2010: Matthew 2:16 – 18 (NKJV)
Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men.
Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying:
“A voice was heard in Ramah,
Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children,
Refusing to be comforted,
Because they are no more.”
Such terrible things don’t happen today, do they? Man’s inhumanity has not really changed.
Christmas Eve, December 24, 2010: Matthew 3:1 – 3 (NKJV)
In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying:
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord;
Make His paths straight.’”What does the phrase ‘at hand’ mean? The wait for Messiah was over.