Day Thirty-Seven: Prophecy Fulfilled
January 6, 2020
By Na Lim Heo
By Na Lim Heo
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 2:19-23 (NIV)
In a pitch dark room, after the Angel of the Lord appeared in a dream, it must have been more like waking up from a nightmare for Joseph. Herod, who murdered all the male infants and toddlers in Bethlehem and the entire region, was finally dead. Now, Joseph could return to Israel, his homeland, from Egypt with Jesus and Mary. The only problem was that Herod’s son, Archelaus, who was just as insecure and bloodthirsty as his father, was now reigning over Judea. So, instead of returning to the birthplace of Jesus – Bethlehem in Judea – Joseph headed up north to Galilee, because the Galilee region was ruled by Herod’s other lesser evil son, Herod Antipas.
In terror, Joseph woke up. It was time to move again. This was all too familiar to Joseph, Jesus, and Mary. This time, they would make their final move from Egypt, back to Israel, to Galilee, and to the insignificant city of Nazareth. As this drama of fear and anxiety unfolds, the author of Matthew ties it all back to the prophecies of old.
“And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled: ‘He shall be called a Nazarene.’”
In darkness and hopelessness, the young Messiah moves back into the midst of His people – Israel – and becomes the fulfillment and culmination of all the promises and prophecies spoken by the prophets of the old. Jesus Christ, from the stump of Jesse, will reign on the eternal throne of David, filled with the Spirit of God. In righteousness and justice, He will rescue the people of God from the hands of the enemies. In faithfulness, He will gather His scattered people and restore shalom.
Jesus Christ, who moved in the midst of His oppressed people thousands of years ago, is among us here. Will you invite Jesus, the Nazarene, to fulfill your deepest hopes, dreams, longings, and promises, too?