August 2, 2022 - Matthew 1-4
Into the New Testament. The story continues. And the story never grows old and stale. In gracious, redemptive response to human sin, and in accordance with Old Testament preparation and prophecy, the Redeemer is born. All this so powerfully reminds that the gospel is rooted in history and was played out in history and continues to save in history. This is no nebulous, vague, unreal, merely mystical story. It’s the story about a real world created by God, real human failure, real compassion, and real redemption.
And so, the wise men asked, “Where is he? We want to see him!” Herod, though, sought to kill Jesus. A real baby, already worshiped, but also facing hostile opposition. All the baby boys younger than two years were killed. It didn’t take long for reality to set in. But Satan could not stop what God was doing. Herod died, and Jesus and his family returned from Egypt.
John preached and prepared the way, but John was arrested. Satan came against Jesus, tempted him, and sought to stop him in his tracks even before he got started. But God had spoken through his prophets, and now he was doing what he said he would do, and nothing could stop the story from continuing. Jesus taught. He healed. And the people flocked to him. What a story!
Come, thou long expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart. -- Charles Wesley (18th century)