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Bible Commentaries

Brown's Commentary on the New Testament

Matthew 2

  1. Introduction : Read: Psalms 147:1-20
    1. Traditional date of A.D. 37.”
    2. This book was written primarily for the Jews as a Bridge from the OT to the New. It is designed to show us our King – the Son of David!
    3. Author: Matthew (Levi). Possibly trained as a Levite
    4. [schooled in the scripture (129 references to the OT)] but (apparently) walked away because of the hypocrisy of the Jews and became a tax collector.
    5. Matthew, in many ways, wrote this Gospel to fly in the face of the religious “do-gooders”. They thought that they shouldn’t associate with “Sinners”, yet Jesus, walked, talked, ate and lived with them! He didn’t just preach and walk away, He loved them into the Kingdom.
    6. Jesus, we will find, was not soft of sin, just sinners. The stories of the woman at the well and the woman caught in adultery as well as the publican who beat his breast crying, “Lord, be merciful to me – a sinner” show us the Lord’s heart. His call was to humility, meekness and to follow Him – not the expectations of the religious world.

Verses 1-8

  1. Who Is Jesus to You?
    Matthew 2:1-8 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. 3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. 5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, 6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. 7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
    1. Herod the King was 4’4” …and had “short person’s syndrome”. He was a little man who wanted lots of power to make up for his insecurities and got his power from Marc Anthony of Cleopatra fame. In fact, because he knew no one would mourn when he died, he had 100 notable men arrested and gave the order that when he died, they should be killed so that someone would be mourning when he died…the order was NOT carried out, however.
    2. Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
    3. Bethlehem means “House of Bread” – very appropriate for the “Bread of Life”
    4. Who do you say Jesus is?
      1. Mark 8:29 And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.
    5. What does your life say about who you think Jesus is?

Verses 9-11

  1. Come Worship Jesus
    Matthew 2:9-11 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. 11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
    1. Why Did They Worship?
      1. Jesus is believed to be around 18 mos – LESS THAN 2 yrs old
      2. These wise men traveled many miles and for many days…showing us that Seeking the Lord calls for diligence, and not a casual observance.
        1. Jeremiah 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find [me], when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
      3. (v10) …says that they rejoiced with exceeding joy: Finding the Lord for our Lives brings great Joy – the Joy of our Salvation, and the Joy of the Lord as our strength…
        1. John 15:11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
      4. They “fell down” (v11) and they Worshipped the Lord (jim: Reverently!)
      5. They came to worship Him who is worthy:
        1. They didn’t worship because they “Felt” like it,
        2. They didn’t worship because they “Had” to,
        3. They didn’t worship because they could “Get something from Him”
      6. They worshipped because He is the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, creator of the heavens and earth, Alpha and Omega, Bright and Morning Star…
      7. Revelation 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
    2. How did they worship? …by giving: (the Father is a giver!)
      1. 2 Samuel 24:24 And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing.
      2. Gold: The Gift for a King (Jesus is the King of Kings)
      3. Frankincense: The Gift for a Priest (Jesus is our Great High Priest)
      4. Myrrh: The Gift for death (embalming spice) (Jesus gave His life that we might live!)
    3. How should we worship?
      1. Romans 12:1-3 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.​​​​​​​
        1. 1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
        2. >> We should ask God what He wants us to do with every aspect of our lives!! <<
          1. This implies that we can NOT be impetuous with our lives, but prayerful!
      2. We give back to God to show our worship and His worthiness and the recognition that we own NOTHING!​​​​​​​
        1. Psalms 24:1 The earth is the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
        2. Malachi 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. ​​​​​​​
          1. God calls it robbery because they had unlawful possession of what belonged to God…not just the tithes and offerings, but everything belongs to God.
      3. We give in 3 distinct ways: Our Time, Our talents and our treasures!​​​​​​​
        1. Time (we come to church and worship through song and the Word)​​​​​​​
          1. Psalms 90:12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
          2. James 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
          3. Ephesians 5:15-17 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
        2. Talents (we worship through our actions that are motivated by HIS love)​​​​​​​
          1. Romans 12:6-8 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; 7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; 8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
          2. 1 Corinthians 12:1, 4-10 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. 4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
        3. Treasures (we worship through the acknowledgement that He owns everything!)​​​​​​​
          1. Giving to God predates the Law of Moses and the Tithe: we see it in (Hebrews 7:5-9) when Abraham payed tithe to Melchizadek.
          2. What the New Testament does speak with great clarity on is the principle of giving:
          3. 1Corinthians 16:1-2 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. 2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.
          4. This makes it clear that the Lord’s desire is that our giving be:
            1. ​​​​​​​Periodic, Planned, Proportional, Private
          5. As well, 2 Corinthians 9 tells us that giving must be:
            1. ​​​​​​​Generous, Freely given, Cheerful
        4. ​​​​​​​Worship is always about our heart issue towards God…Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Mat 6:21)

Verses 12-23

  1. Following After God
    1. Listen for God’s Voice
      Matthew 2:12-15 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. 13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. 14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: 15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.
      1. 1 Kings 19:11-12 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: 12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
      2. 1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God:
    2. Satan is “Out to Get You”
      Matthew 2:16-18 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, 18 In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.
      1. 1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
      2. John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
      3. John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
      4. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
    3. Trust in the Lord
      Matthew 2:19-23 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life. 21 And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee: 23 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.
      1. Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
      2. Psalms 91:1-2 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
      3. Psalms 84:12 O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.
  2. Conclusion
    1. Who is Jesus to you: >> Salvation <<
    2. Worship
    3. Following After God
Copyright Statement
Brown's Commentary on the New Testament is reproduced by permission of author. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Brown, Jim. "Commentary on Matthew 2". "Brown's Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bnc/matthew-2.html. 2017.