Matthew 2:1-3:3 – February 23

Our online study in the Gospel of Matthew will last 6 weeks and is intended to prepare our hearts and minds to celebrate Jesus’ death and resurrection on Easter. Read today’s scripture, journal on it using SOAP, then please share as we encourage one another in this one thing. Below is the NIV version of today’s reading, then below that is a SOAP from one of our study leaders. The Comments section on our website is an open forum for sharing, requesting prayer, and asking questions.

Matthew 2

The Magi Visit the Messiah

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
    who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

The Escape to 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.”
14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 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.”

The Return to Nazareth

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. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, 23 and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.

Matthew 3 – John the Baptist Prepares the Way

In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:
“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
    make straight paths for him.’”

Where Are Your Eyes? | Dyea Rowland


Matthew 2:10


So this was the time of evil King Herod who would stop at nothing to annihilate anyone who would stand in the way of his power, rule, and control. He was considered the King of the Jews, not a baby Messiah! He used the Magi to attempt his monstrous plan of killing King Jesus, unbeknownst to them. The Magi followed the star that had appeared and used it as their guide, which led them right to Jesus.


There is evil, lies, betrayal, deception, selfishness, entitlement, temptation, and confusion all around us. I want only Your guidance that will lead me to the only place I want to be, and that is with You.


Father, there is so much protection seen in this chapter given by Your angels. I pray as my eyes are on You that You place Your protection around me and all of Your followers in these perilous times. Protect us and guide us always. In Your illuminating name…Amen.

The Discover One Thing main website continues to follow the Life Journal Reading Plan which covers the whole Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.


Posted on February 23, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. One of Matthew’s running themes is that Jesus is the King, so he often ties in the fulfillment of Old Testament scriptures to prove this. Pretty cool that his gospel is placed first in the New Testament, eh? To connect the Old and New Testaments. His account is also the only one that includes the story of the Magi, which is another point in his argument that Jesus is the King.’

    Another thing my Bible points out is debunking a part of the Christmas story drilled into us at an early age. This account states that the Magi went to Bethlehem to find Jesus, but in verse 11, it says they found the “child” in a “house”. We all know the Magi came right up to the manger in the stable and gave their gifts to a newborn baby, right? Wrong. My perfect nativity scene with the shepherds watching their sheep on the right and the Magi approaching the stable on the left is wrong. Given Herod’s decision to kill all male babies under 2 in verse 16, we can assume that the info the Magi gave Herod for the exact time the star appeared was less than 2 years before that, so then Jesus was less than 2 years old at the time of the Magi’s visit.

    Something not answered in these accounts is why did Joseph decide to stay in Bethlehem. Luke’s account states that Joseph and Mary were called out of Nazareth for a census, but it appears they decided to stay in Bethlehem. Maybe another angel appeared telling him to stay, knowing they were going to have to find refuge in Egypt for several years anyway. But verse 23 brings them back home to Nazareth, to officially fulfill the Old Testament prophecy.


  2. I love this passage. It speaks into how great and powerful God’s plans are. No amount of evil could overcome what God says He will to do. No one could or will get in the way.


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