Faithlife Sermons

When Jesus Was a Refugee

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Theme: Jesus as True Israel will Prevail Purpose: To see Jesus as identifying with the people of God and that he brings a hope that prevails Gospel Connection: Jesus' Incarnation experiences the whole human struggle. Mission Connection: Growing in Faith (Confidence) in God to prevail against all odds.

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13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt,
13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.
17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
18 “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”
19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt
20 and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”
21 So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel.

Jesus is the True Israel.

Game Show - Quiz
What other O.T. Character saw dreams and through those dreams brought his family to Egypt?
What Other O.T. King was Born in Bethlehem?
What Other O.T. King received gold and frankincense from a foreign country?
What other King in the O.T. killed innocent baby boys?
The quote from Jeremiah - Who was Jeremiah talking about?
What does it mean to be a Nazarene?
When Jesus “Fulfills” The O.T.
When we say Jesus is fulfilling the O.T. Prophecy, we don’t always necessarily mean that there are exact predictions that come true in Jesus. There are, but Matthew is going deeper...
Jesus Fulfills the O.T. by re-enacting the story in his personal life.
Jesus is the New Moses - Exodus, the New Solomon - Wisdom, the New David, the New Israel.
As He does so we can then say...

So He Identifies with Every Struggle.

But without sin.... - The Temptations in the desert for 40 days.
Jesus has experienced what it was like to be a Refugee like his people were, to be in exile and to return.
Jesus’ family would have been known for its lineage, but having thought that that lineage was killed off, he shows up in a very insignificant place - “Nazareth.” From humble beginnings. He will identify with a people who struggle.
So he will be the complete opposite of Herod. He will use his Power not for himself, but to care for the poor the, the prisoner, the outcast, those who struggle.
If you are someone who struggles in any way in life. Jesus can identify with you.

As the True Israel Jesus will Prevail.

The Story reads like The Suspenseful Final Lord of the Rings movie - The impossible has to happen over and over again.
Question: Why doesn’t God do something to save all of the children?
Clear Picture of Herod’s paranoia -
Surrounding area about 1,000 population so talking about 20 kids.
Compared to…His predecessors and large numbers of their supporters, his brother-in-law, mother-in-law, his favorite wife Mariamme, His three eldest sons, ten conspirators and their entire families, He threatened to have all the Jewish nobility slaughtered at the time of his death so at least someone would mourn his passing.
Free Agency - Human sin is about us wanting to rule, and God has given us over to that. Sometimes the result is this kind of devestation.
The plan of Herod, however, was to thwart God’s plan of redemption.
And that can not be thwarted. Even at the smallest margins Jesus will prevail.
What is the implications for us?

So We can Be Confidently Hopeful about the Future.

Tragic things can happen in our life around us.
What this does not mean is that God has left us
Rather that God has entered into the tragedy. He has experienced the tragedy with us, and will make all things right.
It may seem like the Herods and the Pharaohs and the Empires and those in human power positions, and those who do evil with that power, but ultimately they are not. God will prevail in Jesus.
16 This is what the Lord says:
“Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded,” declares the Lord. “They will return from the land of the enemy. 17 So there is hope for your descendants,” declares the Lord. “Your children will return to their own land.
Reference the Reformed Confessions: The Reformed Confessions are statements of faith written to clarify the Gospel at times when the Church was in crisis. Heidelberg Catechism: Q&A 19, 26-28, 31, 35-52, 125 Belgic Confession: Articles 13, 18,21, 26 Belhar Confession: Article 4
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