Jesus - The Promised Son for the Nations

Dr. Rob Green December 23, 2018 Matthew 2:7-15
Outline

Being Careful How We Build

Building on Christmas Promises

Jesus is the Promised Son for the Nations

Matthew 2:7-15

Christmas promise #1: Jesus is the Promised Messiah

Christmas promise #2: Jesus is the Promised Savior

Christmas promise #3: Jesus is the Promised Shepherd

Christmas promise #4: Jesus is the Promised Son for the Nations

3 truths regarding the Promised Son, Jesus, that can help us respond properly to Him

I. Worship Him as the Promised Son of God for the Nations

Matthew 2:7-12 - Then Herod secretly called the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him.” After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

A. We, like the gentile Magi, must worship Jesus

Psalm 72:10-11 - Let the kings of Tarshish and of the islands bring presents; the kings of Sheba and Seba offer gifts. And let all kings bow down before him, all nations serve him.

Isaiah 60:6 - A multitude of camels will cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba will come; they will bring gold and frankincense, and will bear good news of the praises of the Lord.

Genesis 12:3 - And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.

Romans 11:33-36 - Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

B. Some, like the nation of Israel, will not be interested, but must still deal with Jesus

Luke 2:17-20 - When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.

II. Trust Him as the Protected Son

Matthew 2:11-15a - After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way. Now when they had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him.” So Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt. He remained there until the death of Herod…

A. Protection from the evil plot of Herod

“The reason Herod wanted to learn, at his secret meeting with the Magi (v. 7), the exact time the star appeared was that he had already schemed to kill the small boys of Bethlehem (v. 16)…Herod’s hypocritical humility…deceived the Magi. Conscious of his success, Herod sent no escort with them…since the deception depended on winning the Magi’s confidence. Herod could scarcely have been expected to foresee God’s intervention (v. 12).” (D.A. Carson, Matthew in Expositor’s Bible Commentary, ed. Frank Gaebelein [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984] 8:88)

B. Protection from the financial hardship of a major move

Matthew 2:11 - After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

III. Rejoice that God’s Promised Son Fulfills the Expectations of the Old Testament (Matthew 2:15b)

Matthew 2:15b - This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”

Hosea 11:1-11   Commentary

 

1            When Israel was a youth I loved him,

And out of Egypt I called My son.

              God protected the nation from famine by sending them to Egypt. After they became slaves, God rescued them through the Exodus.

 

              2 The more they called them,

The more they went from them;

They kept sacrificing to the Baals

And burning incense to idols.

 

3            Yet it is I who taught Ephraim to walk,

I took them in My arms;

But they did not know that I healed them.

 

4            I led them with cords of a man, with bonds of love,

And I became to them as one who lifts the yoke from their jaws;

And I bent down and fed them.

              The nation was not faithful to God nor did they see the many ways and times that God healed them and cared for them.

              5 They will not return to the land of Egypt;

But Assyria—he will be their king

Because they refused to return to Me.

 

              6 The sword will whirl against their cities,

And will demolish their gate bars

And consume them because of their counsels.

 

7            So My people are bent on turning from Me.

Though they call them to the One on high,

None at all exalts Him.

              God will not take them back to Egypt, but he will discipline them because they continue to refuse the Lord.

              8 How can I give you up, O Ephraim?

How can I surrender you, O Israel?

How can I make you like Admah?

How can I treat you like Zeboiim?

My heart is turned over within Me,

All My compassions are kindled.

 

              9 I will not execute My fierce anger;

I will not destroy Ephraim again.

For I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst,

And I will not come in wrath.

 

              10They will walk after the LORD,

He will roar like a lion;

Indeed He will roar

And His sons will come trembling from the west.

 

              11They will come trembling like birds from Egypt

And like doves from the land of Assyria;

And I will settle them in their houses, declares the LORD.

              Although the nation has continued to be unfaithful, God just cannot cast them away. He just can’t. Hosea anticipates a day when God will bring a savior.

A. Israel’s exodus anticipated a future salvation

B. These Christmas promises provide confidence for the promises still to come

Thank you for serving so well the last few weeks. I know that many of you were serving in at least one of, if not more than one, of the following ministries: Christmas for Everyone, Living Nativity, and the choir/orchestra. I speak for all the pastors in saying “thank you.”

  • The Cantata was well attended in each location --- praise the Lord for the number of people who heard the message through song.
  • Almost 10,000 saw the Living Nativity. It is a joy to be part of a church with such a group of faithful and hard-working servants.

We will see how many choose to be part of our church in the days to come. Hopefully the baptistry will be busy next year with the number of new converts.

I also want to be sure that I have said … since I have the microphone today … that we (all your pastors) hope all of you have a very Merry Christmas. If you are in town tomorrow, then we hope you will join us for one of the Christmas Eve services [explain them].

This year, our Christmas messages have focused on Christmas promises found in Matthew 2:1-23. Since our annual theme has been Being Careful How We Build, we have been thinking for several weeks about Building on Christmas Promises. What we mean is that we want to be sure that the promises of Christmas impact our lives.

One of the things that I particularly enjoy about this series is that it forces me to make connections between sections of my NT with sections of my OT. More specifically, it helps me to understand ways that my OT points me to Jesus.

We have studied three of those promises so far (today will be #4 and tomorrow will be #5).

Christmas promise #1: Jesus is the Promised Messiah … Pastor Viars explained that Jesus is the anointed one of God to fulfill the promises to teach, to lead, and to secure forgiveness for his people.

  • When I read about the coming Messiah passages in the OT, I think of Jesus.
  • The logical question for us is whether we were going to acknowledge Jesus as Messiah. That is one of the reasons that Jewish persons who believe Jesus is the Messiah are called Messianic Jews.
  • When I am reading a passage about a sacrifice, or a scapegoat, or longing for a savior, I think of Jesus.
  • The logical question for us is whether we have trusted in God’s Messianic Savior to rescue us from our sins.
  • When I see shepherd terminology applied to God’s people I can think of Jesus.
  • The logical question for us is whether we acknowledge Jesus as our shepherd.
  • The first is that the OT text made promises that were completed in Christ.
  • The second is that each item demands that we respond to Jesus. We have no choice. We have to reckon (to do something) with this Jesus who is the Messiah, the Savior, and the Shepherd.
  • He speaks openly about OT characters like Abraham, David, Tamar, and Ruth as if we know them.
  • He quotes from specific OT texts like Isaiah 7:14 in Matthew 1:22 and Micah 5:2 in Matthew 2:6.
  • He also emphasizes themes or ideas that have their fulfilment in Jesus Christ like Hosea 11:1 in Matthew 2:15 (something we are going to study today)
  • Read Matthew 2:1-15
  • Verse 7 makes it clear that Herod conducts a careful investigation. Herod’s choice is not arbitrary. It is based on facts.
  • According to v. 11 the Magi appear at the house. The idea that the Magi came a few moments after the birth of Christ is not true. We are not told whether this is the same house associated with the stable or whether it is a different house.
  • What we know is that Jesus was born some time prior to the events of Matthew 2. Most people say between a year and 18 months.
  • These astrologers were able to connect two very important dots: first that there was a promise of a future king and second, they saw an astrological event.
    • Briefly mention in the east (v. 2 and 9) likely at its “rising.”
  • However, apparently, they were not familiar with the prophecy of Micah 5:2 since they did not go directly to Bethlehem. Therefore, it seems that the reason they went to Jerusalem is that the capital was a logical place for the “recently born” king.
  • When you really want to emphasize something you use this “great, exceeding” terminology. I suspect that they were more controlled than some children at Christmas time, but their heart was very similar.
  • We do not know how long the journey took, but when they reached their final destination they were thrilled.
  • They believe that he is the fulfillment of OT promises. They present physical expressions of that worship in the form of 3 costly items: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 
  • God explains in more detail the concerns he has always had for the nation of Israel and people from every tribe and language.
  • While we cannot trace this theme in detail the summation of how and why God brought all nations together through their connection to Jesus is … 
  • You are rejoicing with exceedingly great joy.
  • This heart attitude encourages you to give thanks and praise to the almighty God.
  • The Shepherds do their part. We are specifically told in Luke 2:17-20 …
  • Where is the world are all the Jews?
  • The Shepherds told others. The people wondered. But what about doing something about it … like go over and check out the new baby! Or get it on your calendar … they had like 18 months to figure it out.
  • Their attitude remains indifferent. They wonder about it. Huh … and that is about it.
  • If you in that place today, then we are really glad that you are here.
    • But more than we want to encourage you that being indifferent does not change the fact that you have to reckon with Jesus the king, the Messiah, the Savior, the Shepherd of all nations.
  • A couple soldiers could have eliminated the child possibly in a day or so. But Herod sends no one.
  • But maybe the buzz is not so much about the newborn king as it is Herod’s response to the newborn king. Like … oh no. Nobody do or say anything!
  • Maybe the reason that Jerusalem was in a stir is that they were concerned that Herod’s brutality would be awakened.
  • They certainly did not want to risk being associated with a rival king and have Herod hear about it!
  • God arranged a dream that made it perfectly clear to the Magi and to Joseph and Mary that a diabolical plot was in the works. God sent the Magi home a different way.
  •  Gold suggesting royalty or a confession of Jesus as king, frankincense suggesting the incense offered by a priest to a God confessing Jesus as God, and myrrh used in burials to suggest a foreshadowing of his death and burial. That may the case. It sure does preach well. 
  • Maybe the Magi had a lot of insight regarding the person and ministry of Jesus.
  • Or it could be all the above
  • God would use the evil plots of one man in order to fulfill that purpose and still provide provision along the way.
  • God fully intends to fulfill his purposes.
  • God is fully capable of defending his purposes against dangers of any kind.
  • A poor marriage decision … maybe you were rescued from one of those
  • A poor financial decision … maybe you made a bad call and God rescued you anyway
  • A poor job decision … maybe God intervened in some dramatic way
  • Matthew 2:15 is a quotation of Hosea 11:1. In order to understand what Matthew is doing let’s return to Hosea.
  • Their marriage is a picture of God’s relationship with Israel. Israel continues to depart, to be unfaithful and to pursue other gods.
  • God is going to bring discipline. There will be consequences for the unfaithfulness.
    • However, and this is a huge however, God will not give up on his people. He never has and he never will.
    • He is going to send a future salvation for his people.
    • Notice the text of Hosea … I provided a little commentary to help us think through the text.
  • The nation of Israel is called out of Egypt and now Matthew says … that is Jesus.
  • To make matters worse, he says this was to fulfill. Huh? Hosea 11:1 is talking about a past event (the exodus) rather than a future one. How can this be fulfilled?
  • While we wait we wait expectantly and confidently knowing that all the other promises have come true.
  • I hope this Christmas season is full of worship for the one born king of the Jews. The promised Messiah, Savior, Shepherd, and Son for Israel and all the nations.
  • I hope this Christmas season is full of trust for the God who protects his purposes – even in or maybe especially by miraculous means.
  • I hope this Christmas season is full of rejoicing as you reflect on Jesus fulfilling some specific promises and completing some of the patterns associated with God’s people.

Christmas promise #2: Jesus is the Promised Savior … Pastor Trey explained that while God had always explained that his people needed a savior because of their sin … that … now … Jesus is that promised savior. Up until the time of Christ God’s people had to look forward believing that God would send a savior. Now, we can look back.

Christmas promise #3: Jesus is the Promised Shepherd … Pastor Viars explained that Jesus is the Shepherd-Ruler. He would be compassionate. He would provide for his people and protect his people.

Each of these three ideas shared two common characteristics.

Now it is time to think about a fourth promise. With that in mind please turn in your Bibles to Matthew 2:1. That is on page 1 of the back section of the Bible under the chair in front of you.

As you are turning there, Matthew focuses his story of Jesus (we have 4 of them … Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) on the Jews who knew their Old Testament.

This morning we are going to consider Christmas promise #4: Jesus is the Promised Son for the Nations. To pick up the context I would like to begin reading in Matthew 2:1, but our primary text is vv. 7-15. This is the Word of the Lord.

I would like us to consider 3 truths regarding the Promised Son, Jesus, that can help us respond properly to him.

I. Worship Him as the Promised Son of God for the nations (2:7-11)

Matthew 2:7-12 Then Herod secretly called the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him.” 9 After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

I would like to begin this point by making a few observations:

#1. Timing. We know that Herod will kill all toddlers and babies 2 years old and younger.

#2. Knowledge. The Magi were astrologers; most likely from Persia. They had seen a star. There were Jewish populations in those areas.

#3. Attitude. Verse 10 tells us that they rejoiced with exceeding joy. This expression is not found often in the NT very often (2 times) and only a few more times in the Greek translation of the OT.

#4. Worship. Worship is found in vv. 2, 8, and 11. These travelers have a heart of worship. They believe that this person is the one born king of the Jews.

As I think about these observations it reminds me that …

A.    We, like the gentile Magi, must worship Jesus

God sent his son not only for Israel but for all the nations. The magi, as one commentator put it, represent the nations. What they do and what they bring was part of the expectations provided for in Scripture.

Psalm 72:10-11 - Let the kings of Tarshish and of the islands bring presents; The kings of Sheba and Seba offer gifts. 11 And let all kings bow down before him, All nations serve him.

Isaiah 60:6 - A multitude of camels will cover you, The young camels of Midian and Ephah; All those from Sheba will come; They will bring gold and frankincense, And will bear good news of the praises of the Lord.

As we read the Bible and we see the groups of Jews and Gentiles we must always remember that we are Gentiles. Our families are not natural born Jews and therefore we were the outcasts. Yet, God’s plan included the nations.

His son would not be the Messiah, savior, shepherd, and son for the people of Israel only, but for us as well.

I hope that brings warmth in your heart on a cold morning. Although God gave special promises to the nation of Israel he also cared about and made promises for all the nations.

Genesis 12:3 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”

God promised to bless the nations. That blessing comes through Jesus Christ. Not only had Jesus come to fulfill all the promises regarding the nation of Israel, he was also bringing in the gentiles to be included in his people.

We are touching a theme that is much more fully developed in Romans 9-11.

Romans 11:33-36 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! 34 For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? 35 Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? 36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

It culminates in praise and worship for such an amazing God who is capable of a salvation history that involves Israel and all people! You and I are beneficiaries of that glorious plan.

If you know Christ as your Lord and savior, then I hope your heart echoes that of the Magi.

Many of you will have some time off in the next two weeks. I hope part of that time is spent thanking the Lord for his abundant grace in your life and that the anthem of your heart is “To Him be the glory forever.”

If you do not know Christ as your Lord and savior, then there is a warning for you.

B.    Some, like the nation of Israel, will not be interested but must still deal with Jesus

The attitude of the Magi stands in sharp contrast to one of the most unusual aspects of Matthew’s gospel. We normally think that Matthew’s heavy use of the OT Scripture and his use of the genealogy at the beginning shows his concern for the nation. That is so.

But in the birth narrative of Jesus in the gospel of Matthew, we do not find anyone from Israel coming to worship.

Luke 2:17-20 When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.

Hello! We know that the Shepherds told others. They are on it for sure. Yet, Matthew’s gospel begins with the genealogy, then explains that Jesus is from the Holy Sprit, then we get the Magi’s visit, Herod killing babies, and then the preaching of John the Baptist.

Here is my real concern. Some are like that today. They hear about the birth, they hear about the death, burial, and resurrection. They hear about his second coming.

Today is a decision point. Deciding not to decide is like covering your eyes and believing that something no longer exists. We gave up that game long ago. Here are three clear action steps for you … 

  1. Pray right now
  2. Go to the visitor tent and make an appointment
  3. Do some digging yourself and contact us with your questions (our contact information is on the bulletin)

If the first point is to worship Jesus as the promised Son for the nations, then the second point is …

II. Trust Him as the Protected Son (2:11-15a)

Matthew 2:11-15a After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way. 13 Now when they had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him.” 14 So Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt. 15 He remained there until the death of Herod

Protection is another theme of this section of the story about Jesus. I would like to suggest that there are two areas of protection … the first is clear the second is more subtle.

A.    Protection from the evil plot of Herod (2:12)

Have you ever wondered why Herod did not send a small delegation with the Magi? Bethlehem is only a few miles from Jerusalem.

I used to think that Jerusalem was all stirred up (v. 4) because the Magi are asking about the birth of the rightful king. That is big news.

Herod was a brutal man. He survived a couple of incidents that could have resulted in his death. He killed some of his sons and one of his wives. He was not entirely stable. A man named Augustus once said he would rather be Herod’s pig then his son. 

This brutal man creates a very simple plot. Convince the Magi that his interests are the same as theirs and then let them do the work of finding him. 

D.A. Carson (one of my favorite theologians) captured the thinking well. “The reason Herod wanted to learn, at his secret meeting with the Magi (v. 7), the exact time the star appeared was that he had already schemed to kill the small boys of Bethlehem (v. 16)…. Herod’s hypocritical humility … deceived the Magi. Conscience of his success, Herod sent no escort with them…. since the deception depended on winning the Magi’s confidence. Herod could scarcely have been expected to foresee God’s intervention (v. 12).” (D.A. Carson, Matthew in Expositors Bible Commentary, ed Frank Gaebelein [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984] 8:88).

Joseph does not know, Mary does not know, the Magi do not know, and the reader does not know of Herod’s plot. Thankfully God knew! Since Jesus was the promised Messiah, the promised Savior, the promised Shepherd, the promised Son there was no way that the schemes of a brute could stand in the way.

That is not the sum of God’s protection in this passage.

B.    Protection from the Financial Hardship of a major move (2:11)

Matthew 2:11 After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Many commentators have seen spiritual significance in each of the gifts.

It could be that these gifts represent the financial provisions that Joseph and Mary would need (remember that they were poor) in order to move to Egypt and sustain themselves while they found a place to live and work.

My point is that we are reading how God does not allow his purposes to be thwarted or derailed. There was a mission to accomplish by this promised son.

That is one of the reasons that it is so important to trust the Lord for our lives. He has given us a big picture mission – to live for his glory, but he is also given us a specific mission – to be a godly spouse, a godly parent, a diligent worker, and ministries in which to serve.

Here are a couple of application points

#1. Thank the Lord for his protection of his son and his purposes. Without it spiritual life would not be possible.

I want to encourage you to ask yourself “What are evidences of God protecting me in order to accomplish his purposes in my life?”

#2. Commit to fulfilling God’s purposes in your life knowing that the Lord moves in dramatic ways to protect his purposes. If he protected you and the purpose he has for you in the past, then you can continue to move in confidence that we will continue to do the same.

III. Rejoice that God’s promised Son Fulfills the Expectations of the OT (Matthew 2:15b)

Matthew 2:15b - This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”

Here is the “son” terminology that has formed to focus of our time.

Hosea is the prophet who marries Gomer. She is unfaithful. Yet, even in the midst of her unfaithfulness, Hosea pursues her.

 

Hosea 11:1-11

Commentary

 

1            When Israel was a youth I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son.

 

God protected the nation from famine by sending them to Egypt. After they became slaves, God rescued them through the Exodus.

 

              2 The more they called them,

The more they went from them;

They kept sacrificing to the Baals

And burning incense to idols.

3            Yet it is I who taught Ephraim to walk,

I took them in My arms;

But they did not know that I healed them.

4            I led them with cords of a man, with bonds of love,

And I became to them as one who lifts the yoke from their jaws;

And I bent down and fed them.

 

The nation was not faithful to God nor did they see the many ways and times that God healed them and cared for them.

              5 They will not return to the land of Egypt;

But Assyria—he will be their king

Because they refused to return to Me.

              6 The sword will whirl against their cities,

And will demolish their gate bars

And consume them because of their counsels.

7            So My people are bent on turning from Me.

Though they call them to the One on high,

None at all exalts Him.

 

God will not take them back to Egypt, but he will discipline them because they continue to refuse the Lord.

              8 How can I give you up, O Ephraim?

How can I surrender you, O Israel?

How can I make you like Admah?

How can I treat you like Zeboiim?

My heart is turned over within Me,

All My compassions are kindled.

              9 I will not execute My fierce anger;

I will not destroy Ephraim again.

For I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst,

And I will not come in wrath.

              10They will walk after the Lord,

He will roar like a lion;

Indeed He will roar

And His sons will come trembling from the west.

              11They will come trembling like birds from Egypt

And like doves from the land of Assyria;

And I will settle them in their houses, declares the Lord.

 

Although the nation has continued to be unfaithful, God just cannot cast them away. He just can’t. Hosea anticipates a day when God will bring a savior.

 

If all you do is look at Hosea 11:1 it looks like Matthew is not being very thoughtful with this text. In Hosea, the “son” is the nation.

But these points are cleared up when you remember two things:

(1) To fulfill can mean to complete or fill up. It is like the old saying, “fill it to the brim.” Sometimes fulfillment is a one to one correspondence and sometimes it is the completion of a pattern or theme.

(2) NT writers sometimes choose one passage that, in context, bring forward the theme that Jesus will complete. The nation was threatened by famine … God moved them to Egypt … God gave them the land of Israel … God brought them out of Egypt through the Exodus … God let them in the wilderness … God established them as his people … yet there was a coming salvation!

Jesus completes that pattern. He is in danger and God protects him. He moves to Egypt and God brings him to the promised land. The nation is awaiting salvation and now salvation is here.

Matthew tells us that the pattern and trajectory of salvation history is finding its completion in Jesus.

A.    Israel’s Exodus Anticipated a Future Salvation

I am from the generation of the A-Team. If you don’t know what that is, ask your parents. The show ended with the line, “I love it when a plan comes together.” Israel’s exodus … salvation from Egypt … anticipated the future salvation offered by Jesus.

It should stir in us a heart of rejoicing that God is keeping his promises, fulfilling his purposes, and ensuring his success.

We marvel not only at the miraculous birth of Christ, but also at all that was involved for Jesus to complete God’s plans!

B.    These Christmas Promises Provide Confidence for the Promises Still to Come

Earlier this year I taught in my ABFs through the book of Micah. When you read the prophets one of the challenges is figuring out what future they discuss. Sometimes they talk about the rescue of the nation from exile, sometimes they talk about the coming of Jesus, and sometimes they talk about the completion of all things at Jesus’ second coming.

We have the joy of looking back on the first coming. We, like the prophets, look forward to his second coming.

Final summary

 


Dr. Rob Green

B.S. - Engineering Physics, Ohio State University
M.Div. - Baptist Bible Seminary
Ph.D. - New Testament, Baptist Bible Seminary

Pastor Rob Green and his wife, Stephanie, joined the Faith staff in August, 2005.  Rob’s responsibilities include oversight of the Faith Biblical Counseling Ministry, Chair of the MABC program, and teaching New Testament at the Faith Bible Seminary. He serves on the council board of the Biblical Counseling Coalition and as a fellow at the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors.

Read Rob Green's Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Green to Faith Church.