Matthew 2 – New Testament in a Year
The nativity scene is given 1 verse in Matthew! No stable, shepherds, just Bethlehem in Herod’s day.
Herod was king of Judea – half Jew and half Idumean, he had been appointed king by the Roman Senate in 40BC and died in 4BC! Jesus was born before then. Our calendars start on a miscalculation by Dionysius the Small in the 6th Century who didn’t have the data about Herod!
Jesus has always divided people – half coming to worship like the Magi and half full of hatred and opposition like Herod.
The fact that non Jews, like the Magi, were worshipping Jesus is a big theme in Matthew. As he wrote the gospel Gentiles were flooding into the church, whereas most Jews didn’t want to know – Isaiah prophecied that Isa 6:9-10 and 60:1-3 “Nation will come to your light and kings to the brightness of your dawn”.
Matthew is also keen to see how the coming of Christ is fulfilling so much Old Testament prophecy – by the end of chapter 2, Matthew cites how 5 Old Testament prophecies have been fulfilled.