The Baby Born to Share Our Suffering

Matthew 2:13-23

Posted by Dan Jarms on December 24, 2023
The Baby Born to Share Our Suffering
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Main idea: Trust Christ who endured the most hateful outburst and humble childhood.

Graphic inspired by Paul E. Miller’s book, J-Curve.

  1. Trust Christ who shared the most hateful outburst (Matthew 2:13-18)
  2. Trust Christ who shard the most humble childhood (Matthew 2:19-23)
  • Automated Transcription
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    You know in in Luke 210 11 There's this glorious scene of the angels appearing to the shepherds, you know, it's the first. It's the first outside of mom and dad who see the baby. The angels say to them, Fear not for behold, I bring you good news of great joy, and that will be for all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And there's good news, we have a king. Here, his name is Jesus. And what we're going to look at today is Matthew's account of his infancy. So turn with me if you brought your Bible to Matthew chapter two, I'll read 13 through 23, which is commonly called the slaughter of the innocents. So stand with me for the reading of God's Word. And I will read this passage. All that was warm and bright about Luke two fades off the scene, and Matthew two. 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. And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt, 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. Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the Wiseman became furious. And he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and under all the region, who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the Weizmann then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah, a voice was heard and Rama, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children, she refused to be comforted, because they are no more. But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel for those who sought the child's life or dead. And he rose, and he took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Arcalis was raining 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. And he went up 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. This is the word of the Lord. God, we thank you for Christ. We thank you for the supreme demonstration of love that is out shown and still still amazes us today, that you would send your son to live among us, Lord Jesus, we are in awe and wonder at the glory and vastness of your humility, being God, condescending to live into suffer with us from your infancy, where Jesus we praise you that this is your plan to save your people. We come seeing these things experiencing our own loss or tragedy this time of year, and are grateful for the hope that your salvation brings. I do pray for those here. Whether they are hurting in pain because of physical illness, a family members physical illness, divorce, separation, strife, refugees. We have all of those here this morning, and may you give a word of comfort, give a word of comfort. And Father we pray that You would help us see the glory of Christ. In His great mercy, we pray for the preaching across our city. New Year's Eve services happening now happening this evening I pray for faithful proclamation I pray for Brett sweet at Grace Christian Fellowship within our five minutes circle who partners in the labor of the gospel. Pray for fourth Memorial and we pray that you would make them faithful. I pray for the the word that goes forth from fourth Memorial Pray for the word that goes forth from the churches across our city. And so we would pray that you would be glorified. In so many ways, drawing centers to yourself, strengthening the saints, Christ's name we pray, amen. You may be seated. I got a call a week and a half ago, December 13, Wednesday, from one of my brother Mike's best friends. He wanted to know how to see my mom who's in assisted living and memory care. And he said every, every year, I go to the grave side. Mike's friend Matt was talking about my brother Mike's grave side. And he wanted to see my mom on the way Mike would have turned 61 on the 13th. I have a distinct memory 40 years ago today. And tomorrow, Mike had gotten out of the hospital for for a week or so to spend Christmas at home. He had been at the University of Washington Hospital and we got to have him home for Christmas. My parents had a hospital bed set up in the living room for his care. And I took my turn taking those little balik bottles of morphine, putting in the syringe, taking out the morphine, putting it in this port to give him some comfort, because he was dying of bone cancer. Happy Christmas, everybody. I bet some of you have awful memories of Christmas Past. I bet you do. I bet some of you have awful realities of Christmas present. One of the most precious things about the scriptures is the scriptures give hope and real and honest circumstances. And the account of Jesus birth is honest. Jesus Flight into Egypt reminds us of how he came to save us the circumstances that he came. Jesus came to share in our sufferings, the same kind of sufferings we do. And he did it from his infancy, not just at the cross. And what is more Jesus came to bear the guilt for the suffering that we inflict on others. Be here in this story. There are the ultimate contrast, the most diabolical, hateful act from Herod and the most innocent and humble Messiah. You fit somewhere in the middle. You're probably not as diabolical as Herod, you certainly aren't as innocent as Jesus. And this story like so many this account, like so many causes to trust Christ that He is the real Messiah qualified to be that our real savior. The call out of this passage is to trust Christ, who shared in the most hateful outbursts and humble circumstance, the most hateful cruelty and the most humble, living conditions, and he did it from his birth from the very start. Herod was possessed by power by personal glory by an obsession with his own legacy. And you see Satan lurking behind the whole scene wielding Herod like a weapon against Jesus. But in all of Jesus life, like an all of ours to God has plans to save through the same circumstances that Satan uses for our harm. It's an extraordinary thing about this passage. I've included a helpful graphic from Paul Miller's book called The J curve. Miller notes this that Jesus's death and resurrection. Jesus, death and resurrection are a pattern and just like the J, the J goes down and then comes up.

    And the power the power of Jesus, he humbles himself to the point of death and then God exalts him. He dies for our sin and God God saves him and then us through his work, the J curve, and the J curve of the death and resurrection is really the ultimate in the pattern that is all throughout the Scripture. And that is characteristic of the Christian life. All throughout the Scripture. God wants to see his people humble so that he can exalt them. And in this passage, you see three examples of the J curve. You see Jesus, not only condescending in the Incarnation, and coming down, but but not to a warm welcome no to a hostile reality. Jesus doesn't even get to grow up in a comfortable, low class life near the capital city, he's forced into exile. This is the divine pattern begins with the Incarnation, we see His earthly suffering. And ultimately, the J curve is fulfilled, and Jesus death and resurrection. If you're new to reading the Bible, you're here visiting us. Just listen through what Jesus suffered from his infancy. Because you too, must trust Jesus, you must trust Jesus, because Jesus went through the worst things to save you out of the worst things. We see clearly from his birth, here, and 13 through 23. We're gonna take it in two parts. Today. There's a call for those of us who know Jesus to see the hard from our past or our present, or we anticipate in our future, and to yet trust Christ. Trust the one who endured in the pain of the most hateful outbursts, we need to trust him more. Those of you who are here who are growing in your understanding, to trust Him fully. Second part we're going to trust learn to trust the one who endured the most humble circumstances. So let's look at where we picked up from last week in verse 13. And just remember, people in this world you and I, often, who worship themselves, we get angry. People who worship themselves get angry, when the people around them don't worship them. When they don't get what they want. And they could do the worst things to hurt those who get in their way. Herod does this. Verse 13. Now when they The Weizmann, we looked at the previous verse, the wise men had come from the east they had offered worship. They were warned in a dream to escape the other way. And so they left when they the Wiseman had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. So there was a vision for them. There was a dream for Joseph, and it 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. Inherit is going to act quickly to kill the baby Jesus. He was going to eliminate any threats to his throne, any threats to his legacy, any threats to his son. Herod had rejected the Scripture Herod rejected the supernatural side, Herod rejected the testimony of these foreign senators, so to speak. He determines to destroy destroy Jesus, and you can see Satan's fingerprints all over it. Although Satan's not mentioned here, certainly got his fingerprints. Here, it's not going to stop until he finds the boy and kills him. So Jesus, Joseph and Mary are in grave, serious danger. For lots of Jews living in Egypt, and so Joseph rose took the child and his mother by nights, I mean, they left immediately. There was a there was a hurry. There's an urgency to this. They grabbed whatever portable things that they could, and they put it together and they made the trip. Some 70 miles to the border. Another number of miles. We don't know where they stayed. If they went all the way to Alexandria. It would have taken days if not weeks to travel there. How many of you have taken a joyful Christmas journey with a six month old to visit somebody at Christmas? And you thought it was hard when they were in a car seat for three hours. They're carrying Jesus six month old No car carrier, no cradle, just carrying him in constant terror. Jesus becomes a refugee. Jesus becomes a refugee. You know, an immigrant chooses to leave their country to go to another country, they hope for a better life they hope for as this they hope for that a refugee has to leave their country because they're in danger. They're not necessarily given a warm welcome. They're not necessarily given entrance. They're not given anything. They just have danger and they're fleeing Jesus is now the newborn refugee. Joseph and Mary, take him in flight. departed to Egypt. And they remain there until the death of Herod probably six months or so if we tie the timeline with Luke's timeline. But notice this, notice this as tragic and difficult as the circumstances are. God is doing something greater here. Verse 13, this was the 13th 14th This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet Out of Egypt I called my son. See what Herod wanted to do to destroy Jesus, the sovereign God wanted to do to save His people. Jesus is going to Egypt, his going to Egypt and being called out is to signal a new Exodus is coming. Jesus is going to be the leader of God's people. This quote Matt from Matthew 11, verse one, were quoted the last part out of Egypt they call my symbol but here's the whole thing. When Israel was a child, this is from Hosea, I loved him and out of Egypt, I called my son. Hosea is talking about Israel, lead out of bondage from Egypt, out of pharaohs, diabolical hands, becoming their own people. The child in Hosea 11, is Israel. How does Jesus fulfill this?

    Because Jesus, as the new representative of Israel is going to be the one who leads his people out of their exile and sin in Hosea. The people are going to be punished. They're going to be judged for their unfaithfulness to God for worshipping other gods and Hosea, the people are adulterous, so to speak their idolatrous and they're going to be disciplined. And yet God promises at the end of Hosea that I'll bring you back. Jesus as the obedient son, now initiates the new, the new return the new flight from Egypt. Jesus is going to lead out of exile. While Herod was trying to kill Jesus God was truly saving his people. Israel, Jesus now is going to represent Israel. Verse 16, says Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men became furious. I mean, he was angry before planning to kill a baby. Now he's insanely angry.

    And he did hear the worst of all of his terrible acts. It says he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and all that that region, who are two years old are under in his anger, he wanted to make doubly sure that he got the child and if he didn't get the child, he would certainly send a message to everyone don't threaten my kingdom. It's hard to know how old Jesus was. But I'm certain that the time of the age of two was plenty to cover. Everybody who was in the spectrum was according to the time that he had ascertained from the Wiseman you can hardly think of a more cruel In a horrific thing for someone to do kill all the two year old boys. I guess Harriet is a type two like Pharaoh who wanted to kill all the newborns in Egypt. as horrific as this was, it was according to God's sovereign plan. Verse 17. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah. A voice was heard and Rama, weeping and loud lamentation Rachel weeping for her children. She refused to be comforted, because they are no more. And Jeremiah 31. Mike, Hosea 11 is speaking to Israel in a time of her rebellion, a time of her idolatry, and spiritual adultery, and they are going to be carted off into exile. enemy armies are going to come, they're going to destroy the Land, they're going to kill many sons. They are going to take captive and bring back to Babylon.

    And the mothers would weep and wail. See from Jesus infancy, he would be able to identify with the plight of the suffering because he experienced hostility from his infancy he too, would go off into exile. Children would be massacred as collateral damage. Satan has always been trying to kill the promised ones. He's always been trying to destroy those who are faithful followers. And if you can't destroy them, he will wreak collateral damage on any that he can. I read a Christianity day Today article this week. Evangelical Christians in Bethlehem are not celebrating Christmas in the normal way this year. There's no marching bands apparently marching bands go to Bethlehem at Christmas time. That's cool school trip. The churches are not celebrating like that it would be totally inappropriate, given the war that's going on.

    The war in Gaza affects Christians in Gaza to fix Christians in Israel to one pastor typically put up a big nativity scene, had the church pile rocks and rubble and set the tivity on top. The Nativity of rubble, it's called. It has to remind us that Jesus came to suffer with us. So he could save us from the justice we deserved and comfort us in the suffering we do not deserve. One of the local pastors preach this a couple of couple of weeks ago. He said God is under the rubble in Gaza. He is with the frightened and the refugees. He is in the operating room. This is our consolation. He walks with us through the valley of the shadow of death. And if we want to pray, my prayer is that those who are suffering will feel this healing and comforting presence. Jesus came at a time when the world was entrenched in its false worship. When it's trenched its rebellion, entrenched in its cruelty. Little boys were murdered as the epitome of of man's inhumanity to man. killing the children for the threat to legacy. Hit God still in control. Jeremiah 3115 is in the middle of a very bright passage jerath Jeremiah 31 Verse 16. These weeping mothers are told this, Thus says the Lord keep your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears for there is reward for your work declares the Lord, and they shall come back from the land of the enemy. There is hope for your future declares the Lord. We don't know the details of how this is going to work out But Jeremiah promised in the middle of this great trial, these mothers who are weeping and inconsolable can be consoled, because there is a return one day. We do know according to First Thessalonians 413 through 18, that at the trumpet sound in this thing we call the rapture when the trumpet, resounds anybody who has died in Christ who is buried in a tomb, their bodies will resurrect, and they will be rejoined with their souls and spirits and we who are alive will be caught up in the air and Paul is emphatic and thus we will all be together with the Lord

    there is hope are such good news. And we've we've not been Harrod. But who of us has not been angry? Maybe you've flown into a rage because someone got into your room and mess with your Legos. Have you ever flown into a rage kids because one of your siblings for the 25th time touched your stuff? And you skipped the mediation process? You know that you tell your kids go ask Mom, go ask dad. First you need to ask them please don't mess with my stuff. And then you go ask mom and dad for mediation, so and so messed with my stuff again, I did not. And you just fly the whole way past to going into their room with a baseball bat. I am not giving you an example. I appreciate that. Oh man. Sounds like a great idea. Some of you have flown into a rage when someone teased you or questioned you or accused you or caught you when you were guilty. Some have flown into a rage. pent up with frustrations of marriage and relationship. Some have flown into rage because of being miserably drunk or high. And I bet every one of us here has an outburst that we regret. Here's the J curve on display. Jesus came down to endure hostility from the hands of sinful men. And he would rise from the dead. And if you humble yourself, and trust in Him, which also has a J curve, the humility of humble repentance and faith in Christ, that kind of humble repentance that acknowledges the hurt you cause the pain you cause the consequences you cause and fully repents. When I tell you, Jesus can restore you. He can restore you. Jesus endured hostility from his infancy, to share in the grief and the sorrow of innocent sufferers and to forgive guilty. Sinners, cruel sinners. There could be a new start for you today because of what Jesus did. So first, we look to Christ to trust him because he shared in the most hateful outbursts he had endured them. And second, we can trust Christ because He endured the most humble circumstances. God always shows his greatest power through the most feeble and humble human circumstances where you see it here. Verse 19, next section says but when Herod died now, just stop there, the historian Josephus records Herod's death. And if you're wondering if people on earth get justice as they might deserve, sometimes they do. He describes Herod's death. Having ulcerated intestines, protruding out his body he infected by maggots with such a stench from his breath that it made every one of his attendants sick. I mean, it's a fitting death for a cruel man. Like if you ever like, do those bad guys really get their justice like kinda? Yes. If you said yes, that's okay. Because you should rejoice when evil is vanquished. You might pity his soul, but might be grateful that God gives justice. But I want to tell you, God doesn't give justice always here. But he will. There is a day every soul stands in front of the presence of God and will be judged. For the story's purpose when Herod died, behold an angel the Lord appeared in the dream to Joseph in Egypt, 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. And he arose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. I last Joseph and Mary can return. So they start making the week's journey back. Joseph is planning where to raise him probably not very far from the temple not very far from Jerusalem. So this son of God can have easy access. And yet you see another J curve forming. Jesus doesn't get to come back to Bethlehem, near Jerusalem. Verse 22, when he heard that Archelaus was raining over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there for a good reason. Arcalis is Arcalis followed his father's brutal tactics. After Herod died while the period of mourning was going on, and the funeral was going on, some Jewish extremists wanted to express their displeasure with Rome, and there was a large golden eagle in the temple to show Rome's dominance in the temple, which was blasphemous to them. And they knocked over this golden eagle and Arcalis out of retribution, had 3000 Innocent pilgrims slaughtered in retribution. To say that Joseph was concerned is an understatement. doesn't want to be raising Jesus to near this. being warned in a dream, God intervenes again. He withdrew to the district of Galilee and went and lived in a city called Nazareth. As far as cities go, it's kind of a small town that's far far away from the metropolis. It was a little village in the high hills west of the Sea of Galilee. It was the kind of small town that people from a midsize town like to make fun of. We have this running joke in my family, I learned how to drive. I actually learned I learned how to drive in cine, which isn't saying a lot. I got my driver's license in ritzville. My dad wanted me to pass the first time, I was the fifth of five. He's like, I don't want to take him out to Spokane Valley and have them fail over and over again. He didn't have a lot of competence in us. So he takes me to ritzville and so I pass the first time

    probably the funniest well, so whenever I make a driving mistake often enough, Linda might say ritzville. You know, it's the kind of small town that people from a big town. Make fun of. True story when I was leaving ritzville We were getting on the freeway and it's got a weird interchange, getting on the freeway there. And I started going on the wrong on the wrong the wrong way on the on ramp. ritzville My dad's like, what are you doing? I just drive and then sorry, over here. You know, from somebody who grew up in the metropolis of Yakima, I can I can see why ritzville is funny, I mean, all the driving challenges in Yakima. The Palm Springs have Washington. But she's right, she's a way better driver than I am. But you kind of get this whole idea small town, if you're from big town, small town is despised hick from the sticks. That's Nazareth. And although Jesus deserved to be raised in a palace in Jerusalem, he deserved at least to be raised near the temple in Jerusalem, he deserved to be treated like royalty, we find him almost an exclusion a safe place, far from danger in trouble in Nazareth. And this is by the sovereign design of God, so that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled that he would be called a Nazarene. That's not a compliment. It's a term of scorn. Philip is going to ask this question, when, when somebody wants to introduce him to Jesus Can anything good come from Nazareth? What Matthew is talking about is the the multiple times in the Old Testament, where Messiah is predicted to come as despised and small and meaningless and unknown. The multiple prophecies, there's a theme when Messiah comes he will be despised and rejected by men. And now, Nazareth was a perfect place, an obscure place. I mean, what good news, what good news. For us, heard of Jesus would have grown up in a palace in luxury, it would be really hard to think that he identifies with the lowly and the small, and all those who live in strong class cultures, would have thought that Jesus was the savior of the mighty and the rich, that that his privilege would be emblematic of what what every rich and sovereignly chosen person should have. But no become he comes to Nazareth, he can become the savior of the small with good news. Who doesn't often think that they're at least better than so and so. I mean, I look at this passage of Islam. At least I'm not Herod.

    Pride plagues us. You talk about yourself to build yourself up, you talk about yourself to put others down. You might be tempted to think that the politician who's most ready to fight shows power is the one to get behind. You might think richer and more powerful is better, and poor and more feeble is worse. I mean, this is good news, Jesus humbled himself to save us from our pride, the heart of our sin condition.

    When we're overlooked when we go on thanked when we don't have what others have, Jesus identifies with us very well. And you know, that's the motto. That's the pattern of the Christian life, our own J curve. Every once in a while I'll be you know, in a friendship or in a counseling setting or in a discipling setting. Somebody just comes face to face with their weaknesses and inadequacies. I've heard this said before you've said it I've said it because we know that God teaches us things through trial so we'll say You know, I know God is teaching me something through this trial I'm really looking forward to him teaching me quickly so I can get out of it. But what if keeping you in it taught a different lesson. What if keeping you in it taught you a different lesson?

    Second Corinthians 1210 says this. Listen to the Apostle Paul for the sake of Christ, then I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities. Paul, you use the word content. And we would say I do not think that word means what you think it means. He means it satisfied, deeply satisfied, and whole. What he says I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities. Why? For when I am weak, then I am strong. God empowered Jesus, through the suffering, he goes down God exalt Him. And ultimately this pattern seen in his infancy comes to its fullest at the resurrection. Jesus humbles himself, he is treated with the most brutal hostility, he is murdered, he bears our wrath from the Father, and He rises from the dead. Through Jesus weakness, salvation, floodgates are open to you. And now we follow we die to ourselves and God energizes us and empowers us. And if it's not in this life, it is in the life to come for all eternity. When I am weak, then I am strong. What's the lesson that he might want to teach you that his power flows through weakness, you want to see his power? Stop fighting your weakness. Let his power flow through you. My brother Mike died at 21. He was the first in our family to repent and trust Christ, a hospital chaplain at the University of Washington, doing his rounds had visited him and shared the gospel with him when he trusted Christ. His life made an impact on his friends 40 years later for Mike's 21st birthday, which would have been 40 years ago. an NFL football player actually several visited Mike they were from the Oakland Raiders. That was his favorite team. You might have gotten a wishing star wish come true. So Oakland Raiders football players came who were living in the Seattle area, and they visited him on his birthday. They gave him a Marcus Allen jersey. Oh, I should ask Mike's friend did he get it? Because we don't know where it is Chris the jersey but my brother told him, one of them who was a believer. This I thank God for my cancer

    through it, I have come to know Jesus Christ.

    God is sovereign here through Jesus and hear for you. You can trust him. You can trust him. Father, thank You for this powerful and precious narrative, this history presented to us. God you are sovereign and you're sovereign to save all of these are part of your saving plans. And I pray that you would awaken those here who don't know. They return and repent and I pray that You would help us who do know to look at the past suffering, present hard realities, even look to future things that are going to come knowing that you worked salvation through Jesus through hard things. And him we can rely through our heart things now. May His glory be brighter and brighter to us. Jesus name, amen.

Dan Jarms

Dr. Dan Jarms is teaching pastor and team leader at Faith Bible Church in Spokane Washington, as well as associate dean at TMS Spokane. He has been married for over 30 years to Linda, and has three adult children. He earned his B.A. in English at the Master’s College, B.Ed. at Eastern Washington University, M.Div and D.Min in Expository Preaching at The Master’s Seminary. His other interests include NCAA basketball, gardening, brick oven cooking.

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