I would love to spend today’s blog talking about the false narrative of equating Jesus’ family fleeing to Egypt with thousands of “refugees” who are attempting to enter America, but that would date the blog in years to come, assuming anyone was interested in reading it.
Instead, I want to focus on the four prophecies fulfilled with Jesus’ birth and subsequent events in Matthew 2.
The first prophecy concerns the birthplace of Jesus in Bethlehem as recorded in Matthew 2:1-6. Of the more than 300 Old Testament prophecies concerning Jesus, Micah 5:2 is the only Old Testament text that foretells of the birthplace of the Messiah.
The second prophecy in verses 13-16 concerns the family’s flight to Egypt to escape Herod’s wicked intentions. This was in fulfillment of Baalam’s prophecy against Balak, king of Moab, recorded in Numbers 24.
The third prophecy found in verses 16-18 invokes the words of Jeremiah the prophet in Jeremiah 31:15, wherein the weeping prophet foretold of the slaughter of the innocents. I never read this text without thinking of the Vatican Museum tapestries vividly depicting this horrific event.
The final prophecy is found in the chapter’s final verse, “And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, ‘He shall be called a Nazarene.’” Interestingly enough, this prophecy is nowhere to be found in the Old Testament. However, one should not be overly concerned as Matthew does not attempt to identify the specific prophets who had so spoken as he had done previously.
This is not the only time we will see such in Scripture. In Acts 20:35, Paul attributed these words to Jesus, “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” even though there is no record of the Lord saying it. Moreover, Paul reminded the Ephesians that this statement was well known and should be remembered.