Remembering the Reason for the Season

Beth, this one is for you my dear friend.

Matthew 1:18-2:23

The Birth of Jesus

18 Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah[a] happened in this way. When his mother Mary was engaged[b] to Joseph, before they lived together she was discovered to be pregnant by the Holy Spirit. 19 Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to disgrace her, decided to divorce her secretly.

20 After he had thought about it, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” he said, “don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus,[c] because he is the one who will save his people from their sins.”

22 Now all this happened to fulfill what was declared by the Lord through the prophet when he said,

23 “See, a virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name him Immanuel,”[d]

which means, “God with us.” 24 When Joseph got up from his sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary as[e] his wife. 25 He did not have marital relations with[f] her until she had given birth to a son;[g] and he named him Jesus.

The Visit of the Wise Men

2 After Jesus had been born in Bethlehem of Judea during the reign[h] of King Herod, wise men[i] arrived in Jerusalem from the east 2 and asked, “Where is the one who was born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east[j] and have come to worship him.”

3 When King Herod heard this, he was disturbed, as was all of Jerusalem. 4 He called together all the high priests and scribes of the people and asked them where the Messiah[k] was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, because that is what was written by the prophet:

6 ‘O Bethlehem in the land of Judah, you are by no means least among the rulers of Judah, because from you will come a ruler who will shepherd[l] my people Israel.’”[m]

7 Then Herod secretly called together the wise men, found out from them the time the star had appeared, 8 and sent them to Bethlehem. He told them,[n] “As you go, search carefully for the child. When you find him, tell me so that I, too, may go and worship him.”

9 After listening to the king, they set out, and the star they had seen in the east[o] went ahead of them until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were ecstatic with joy. 11 After they went into the house and saw the child with his mother Mary, they fell down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasure sacks and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 Having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they left for their own country by a different road.

The Escape to Egypt

13 After they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt,” he said. “Stay there until I tell you, because Herod intends to search for the child and kill him.” 14 So Joseph[p] got up, took the child and his mother, and left at night for Egypt. 15 He stayed there until Herod’s death in order to fulfill what was declared by the Lord[q] through the prophet when he said, “Out of Egypt I called my Son.”[r]


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