Posted by / Tuesday 28 March 2017 / No comments

Matthew's account of the birth of Jesus

Jesus’ mother, called Mary, was betrothed to a man called Joseph but before they could get married, it was discovered that she was with a child of the Holy Spirit. Joseph, her husband to be, being a just man did not want to send Mary away in disgrace so he planned to quietly divorce her.

While Joseph was still contemplating this line of action, the Lord appeared to him in a dream and told him not to divorce Mary because the child in her belly was a son of the Holy Spirit. The Lord said, Mary shall have a baby to be called Jesus because he would save the world from their sins. Joseph obeyed the Lord’s advice and did exactly what was told him. He took Mary as his wife but he did not sleep with her until the child was delivered.

At the birth of Jesus, a star appeared in the east. Wise men in the East saw the star and followed it till it took them to Jerusalem to come and worship the child that was born. King Herod became worried that a king was born. He called together the High Priest and the scribes to find out where the child was to be born and he was told it was going to be in Bethlehem because that was what the prophets had written.

With this knowledge, King Herod invited the wise men from the East to come and he asked them exactly what time the star had appeared. He told them to go to Bethlehem and diligently search for the child and after they had found him, they must come to tell him so that he could also go and worship him.

The wise men followed the star until it rested on the place where Jesus was born. When they finally saw the child, they bowed down and worship him. They presented gifts to the child; gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. On their way back home, they were warned in a dream not to return to King Herod, so they went through another route back home.

After the wise men had left, an angel appeared to Joseph and told him to take the child and the mother and flee to Egypt because the King was after the life of the child. He was to stay there until he is told to come back. That very night, Joseph took the child and his mother and fled to Egypt. When Herod realized that the wise men had left and he could not locate the baby, he gave a decree that all babies who were two years or less should be killed.

Joseph stayed in Egypt until Herod died. After that the Lord appeared to Joseph again and told him to take the child and mother and go back to Israel because the people who wanted to kill him had died. Upon his return, he did not go back to Judea because Archelaus, the son of Herod, was the ruler there, and he was afraid of him. Instead, he went to Galilee and settled in a city called Nazareth.

1. a. Give Matthew’s account of the birth of Jesus.
    b. In what three ways is Matthew’s account different from that of Luke?

2. a. Narrate the account of the birth of Jesus, according to Matthew.
    b. What two lessons can be learned from the role of dreams in the life of man?

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