The Search, the Threat, the Escape to Eqypt to Avoid Herod’s Threats!


 After Jesus was born, he and Mary with Joseph continued to live in the animal stall for a while. When Jesus was eight days old, they took him to the temple to be circumcised according to Jewish law. Many prophecies from the Old Testament about this miracle would make a massive study in itself. It was also the time in which Mary’s baby was officially named Jesus. Also, according to Jewish law, a short time passed afterwards for Mary’s purification from giving birth. They needed to make a sacrifice of birds as a result.

As they were preparing to leave the temple, a very old man named Simeon stopped them. In his prayer life, God told him that he would not see death until he saw the Lord’s Christ. He prayed when he held Jesus in his arms, “(Jesus would be) a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of God’s people Israel.” As Simeon returned the baby to the arms of Mary, he blessed Joseph and Mary telling her that the baby was set for the fall and rising again for many in Israel; he said also that Jesus would be a sign which would be spoken against. A sword would pierce through Mary’s own soul.

No doubt they were dumbfounded by the occasion and turning to leave, they were met by a very old woman named Anna. She was only married seven years in her youth before her husband passed away. Since then, she lived in the temple eighty-four years, not leaving, but served God with fasting and prayers night and day. This meant that she probably was at least one hundred years old. When she found this family of three, she gave thanks to God and told everyone that would listen to her that redemption had arrived in Jerusalem.

The holy family stayed in Bethlehem and only went to Jerusalem to perform the rituals required by the Jewish law. There is no record that Joseph had any accumulative money. However, we can deduce that he probably did bring carpenter tools with him when he brought Mary to give birth to Jesus. By the time Jesus was two years old they were living in a house in Bethlehem. Imagine the scene as very wealthy and influential Magi knocked on their door after being guided by a star! Because we are told they brought three gifts, it has been assumed down through the centuries that there were three wisemen. This is a logical assumption, but only an assumption.

In my mind I saw these foreigners gathered by the door of the house. It is likely these men were members of the Zoroastrian religion. It was their habit to observe the stars. According to their belief, when a new star appeared, that meant that a king was born. They traveled an extensive journey from present-day Iraq to Jerusalem. Their journey covered 620 miles over sand dunes, wilderness, and desert. Theirs was a determined trip carrying precious gifts for the toddler Jesus. There is no record of them becoming evangelists for God afterwards. God used their concerned and intention to provide significant funds for what they would need soon. Initially, they asked Herod where the Christ child was born, he asked them once they found the child to return to him for the exact location where they found Jesus. Instead, an angel appeared unto them saying to return home a different way for their own safety and to frustrate Herod’s intention to kill any child two years old and under.

In another dream Joseph perceived an angel who told him to quickly gather their belongings and go the 375 mile journey to Egypt as a protection from Herod. This time they had more belongings, tools, and the two-year-old Jesus. Approximately three years prior Joseph and the significantly pregnant Mary had to travel 80 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem. This time they had to make a trip that was four and one half times that distance to go to Egypt. What conclusions can we make? We are following the lives of two very devout, dedicated believers. These believers were willing to make any sacrifice that God asked of them. Joseph was an ideal man; dedicated to God, his family, and his work ethic. Mary endured profound discomfort as she obeyed God and her husband so that the Savior of the world could be born and protected afterwards.  The details of Mary and Joseph are overwhelming. The example of their lives makes us wonder if we could be as obedient as them. Praise God for

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