1/1/15 Safe To Go Home

Mary, Joseph, and Jesus stay in Egypt until King Herod dies.  Then the angel appears to Joseph again in a dream, saying, “Herod is dead.  Get up, take Mary and Jesus, and return to Israel.”  Once again, Joseph awakens Mary and says, “Mary, the angel came to me in a dream again.  King Herod is dead.  We are to go back to Israel tonight.”  Once again, they pack their belongings and prepare for the journey.  They talk about returning to Bethlehem, where they had found friends who were so caring when Jesus was born.  But as they travel, they hear news of the new king.  King Herod’s son, Archelaus, has now taken his father’s throne.  They are wary of this new king, and unsure whether they will be safe in Bethlehem, so close to the king’s palace in Jerusalem.  The angel returns to Joseph in yet another dream, warning them to stay away from Bethlehem.  So Mary and Joseph go and settle again in their previous home in Nazareth, in the region of Galilee, far from Jerusalem’s prying eyes.  This fulfills two prophecies about Jesus:  “I have called My Son out of Egypt,” and “He will be called a Nazarene.”

Matthew 2:15, 19-23; Hosea 11:1; Isaiah 11:1 (Hebrew word for Nazarene/Nazareth meaning “branch”)

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