The Stars of Christmas Devotional – Week 5 – The Asian Mafia

Thursday, December 31, 2015

day 32 verse

Today’s Scripture Reading

Matthew 2:19–23 (ESV)

19 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.” 21 And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. 23 And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, so that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, that he would be called a Nazarene.

Today’s Quote

“He shall be called a Nazarene.” The Hebrew word for Nazareth was Netzer, meaning a branch or shoot. The city of Nazareth was so called because of its insignificance. The prophecies of Isaiah 11:1; Isaiah 53:2–3; and Psalm 22:6 are involved in the term Nazarene. But the Lord Jesus was given that term not only because He was a root out of the stem ofJesse, but because He grew up in the city of Nazareth, and He was called a Nazarene, which fulfilled the prophecies.

Now we have seen all four of the prophecies dealing with locations in the birth of Christ: born in Bethlehem, called out of Egypt, weeping in Rama, and called a Nazarene were fulfilled in a very normal way. He touched base in all of these places, and what seemed rather strange prophecies became very sane realities. – J. Vernon McGee

 

The Stars of Christmas Devotional – Week 5 – The Asian Mafia

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

day 31 verse

Today’s Scripture Reading

Matthew 2:13–18 (ESV)

12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way. 13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 14 And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt 15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.” 16 Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: 18 “A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”

Today’s Quote

This is a reference to Hosea 11:1, which does not seem to be a prophecy in the sense of a prediction. Hosea was writing of God’s calling Israel out of Egypt into the Exodus. Matthew, however, gave new understanding to these words. Matthew viewed this experience as Messiah being identified with the nation. There were similarities between the nation and the Son. Israel was God’s chosen “son” by adoption (Ex. 4:22), and Jesus is the Messiah, God’s Son. In both cases the descent into Egypt was to escape danger, and the return was important to the nation’s providential history. While Hosea’s statement was a historical reference to Israel’s deliverance, Matthew related it more fully to the call of the Son, the Messiah, from Egypt. In that sense, as Matthew “heightened” Hosea’s words to a more significant event—the Messiah’s return from Egypt—they were “fulfilled.” – The Bible Knowledge Commentary

 

The Stars of Christmas Devotional – Week 5 – The Asian Mafia

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

day 30 verse

Today’s Scripture Reading

Matthew 2:9–11 (ESV)

9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.

Today’s Quote

When they entered the house, the magi saw the young Child with Mary His mother. They fell down and worshiped Him, offering costly gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Notice that they saw Jesus with His mother. Ordinarily mention would be made of a mother first, then her child, but this Child is unique and must be given first place (see also vv. 13, 14, 20, 21). The wise men worshiped Jesus, not Mary or Joseph. (Joseph is not even mentioned in this account; he will soon disappear entirely from the Gospel record.) It is Jesus who deserves our praise and worship, not Mary or Joseph.

The treasures they brought spoke volumes. Gold is a symbol of deity and glory; it speaks of the shining perfection of His divine Person. Frankincense is an ointment or perfume; it suggests the fragrance of the life of sinless perfection. Myrrh is a bitter herb; it presages the sufferings He would endure in bearing the sins of the world. The bringing of gifts by Gentiles is reminiscent of the language of Isaiah 60:6. Isaiah predicted that Gentiles would come to the Messiah with gifts, but mentioned only gold and frankincense: “… they shall bring gold and incense. And they shall proclaim the praises of the Lord.” Why was myrrh omitted? Because Isaiah was speaking of Christ’s second advent—His coming in power and great glory. There will be no myrrh then because He will not suffer then. But in Matthew the myrrh is included because His first coming is in view. In Matthew we have the sufferings of Christ; in this passage of Isaiah, the glories that shall follow. – William McDonald

The Stars of Christmas Devotional – Week 5 – The Asian Mafia

Monday, December 28, 2015

day 29 verse

Today’s Scripture Reading

Matthew 2:1–8 (ESV)

1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: 6 “ ‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’ ” 7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.”

Today’s Quote – Bethlehem. A small village on the southern outskirts of Jerusalem. Hebrew scholars in Jesus’ day clearly expected Bethlehem to be the birthplace of the Messiah (cf. Mic. 5:2; John 7:42). in the days of Herod the king. This refers to Herod the Great, the first of several important rulers from the Herodian dynasty who are named in Scripture. This Herod, founder of the famous line, ruled from 37–4 b.c. He is thought to have been Idumean, a descendant of the Edomites, offspring of Esau. Herod was ruthless and cunning. He loved opulence and grand building projects, and many of the most magnificent ruins that can be seen in modern Israel date back to the days of Herod the Great. His most famous project was the rebuilding of the temple at Jerusalem (see note on 24:1). That project alone took several decades and was not completed until long after Herod’s death (cf. John 2:20). See note on v. 22. wise men from the East. The number of wise men is not given. The traditional notion that there were 3 stems from the number of gifts they brought. These were not kings, but Magi, magicians or astrologers—possibly Zoroastrian wise men from Persia whose knowledge of the Hebrew Scriptures could be traced back to the time of Daniel (cf. Dan. 5:11). – Dr. John MacArthur

The Stars of Christmas Advent Devotional – Week 4 – Jesus, The Christ Child

day 28 verseSunday, December 27th, 2015

 

Today’s Scripture Reading

Revelation 12:1–11 (ESV)

1 And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. 2 She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth. 3 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems. 4 His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it. 5 She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, 6 and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days. 7 Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, 8 but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. 10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. 11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.

 

Today’s Quote: The woman clothed with the sun cannot be the church. Christ gave birth to the church, not the church to Christ. The 12 stars upon her head are a certain indication that she should be identified as Israel. The Child which she delivers is the Christ (v. 5). The dragon who drew a third of the stars, probably a reference to the angelic hosts, from heaven is Satan (v. 4). Thus, a panorama of messianic history from the birth and the ascension of Jesus to the three and one-half years of persecution of the nation of Israel is revealed. – The Believers Study Bible