Faithlife Sermons

Removing All Doubt

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Long arms holding someone away

Think of this image. It could make you think of a bully but I want you to think of something that cannot be thwarted; something unstoppable; unbeatable.

This would describe God’s plan.  It cannot be stopped.

Now, God has been slowly revealing that plan through-out history, a little bit at a time.  Those revelations we call PROPHECY.

From the very beginning God had a plan for His son.  He revealed parts of it in the Old Testament and they were realized in the New.  What we call prophecy.

Nothing was going to stop God from keeping his plan for Jesus. 

Now, God’s plan cannot be stopped.  However, that hasn’t stopped people from opposing it, attempting to work against it.

In the Old Testament I think the greatest example of that was when Pharaoh killed all the male babies belonging to the Israelites.

And, when you come to the New Testament, outside of Satan himself, there is Herod.

In our text this morning these two realities come together

            Herod stands in opposition to the Lord’s anointed.

God’s plan will not be thwarted – stopped (this is clearly seen in how God protects Jesus and how this fulfills what God said would happen in the Old Testament

Encouragement for us

The purpose is to strengthen and encourage followers of Christ to stand strong, not letting the pressured induced doubts sway them from their faith in Jesus.

The Opposition

The Flight to Egypt

The coming of the magi must have brought great encouragement to Joseph and Mary.  However, it was short lived.  No sooner had the magi left than an angel of the Lord appeared and told Joseph to take Jesus and Mary and flee to Egypt.

Why Egypt?  God could have done anything he wanted to protect his son.

Ironic:  The Israelites leave Egypt and Jesus goes to Egypt to be protected.

The Old Testament speaks

This fulfills Hosea 11:1

When Israel was a child I loved him and out of Egypt I called my son.

Matthew is helping us to see the fullness of these words

Just as the Exodus from Egypt to the Promised Land saved the Israelites from slavery, so Jesus death and resurrection opened the door for all people to leave the slavery of sin and enter into Heaven and an eternal relationship with God.

God brought the Israelites out of Egypt –called them his son

Here he brings out his greater son

God has a plan!

Herod’s Massacre

Herod is an evil man

The Old Testament speaks

The next fulfilled prophecy mentioned is that of Herod’s slaughter of two year olds and younger.

Rachel’s weeping for her children represented the lamentation of all Jewish mothers who wept over Israel’s great tragedy in the days of Jeremiah and prefigures the mothers of Bethlehem doing the same.

This isn’t the whole story.

In spite of this pain, God is not going to forget his people.

Like Herod who tried to get rid of Jesus – the Babylonians tried to get rid of the Israelites.  God was not going to forsake his covenant

Jeremiah 31:15-17 (ESV)
15 Thus says the Lord: “A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.”

The coming of Jesus marks the arrival of the comfort promised to the Jews sent into exile.

16 Thus says the Lord: “Keep your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears, for there is a reward for your work, declares the Lord, and they shall come back from the land of the enemy. 17 There is hope for your future, declares the Lord, and your children shall come back to their own country.

Hope for us –

God’s power is greater than the power of forces that bring sorrow.

            Hope for the people of Israel

Romans 11:25-27 (ESV)
25 Lest you be wise in your own conceits, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”; 27 “and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”

The Return to Judea

God speaks again

The Old Testament speaks

The last mention here of the Old Testament has to do with where Jesus lived and grew up.

God’s commitment to make it all happen.  His humility being demonstrated

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