13Now 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.” 14And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt 15and 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.”
16Then 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.”
So this psycho king decides to kill children. This is a little bit hard to believe, I know, but bare in mind He killed several of his own children and wives because he was afraid of losing his throne to them!
This is nothing new. The Romans knew all about killing each other to protect their power. The legendary murder of Julius Caesar, wars and sieges were how you ‘made yourself’ in Rome.
Instead of worship, as Herod promised, there is death. Herod will not bow the knee, he will bring the sword. A politician in the Roman empire. He’s nothing new. Herod, the king of the Jews, doesn’t look any different to the roman oppressors.
And this whole drama explodes because of the birth of one baby boy.
All this violence, betrayal, blood and weeping.
But that doesn’t matter to Joseph, asleep.
But here, two worlds will collide.
The world of politics and power meets the ordinary lives of an ordinary family.
‘Run, Run to Egypt, run for your life!’
Because the Empire is not how God works. God is not a politician, nor an economist, nor a billionaire, nor a general. The powers and rulers of this world don’t ‘get it’. They don’t get who this Jesus is. Is he a Conservative or a Liberal? Is he for us or for them?
No, he’s a baby boy. A special baby boy, who is the hope of the world.
The Roman Empire knows only violence. The only way it can succeed and maintain peace is with it’s swords, guns, bombs, money and threats.
But the Saviour of the World is a baby who hides in Egypt.
Whilst Herod slaughters the children. The Empire murders the innocent. To protect itself, to maintain peace!
Where were you, God? Where were you when they took my son! Where were you when they killed my family, when I lost everything?!
God was in Egypt. And he is about to make his debut in the world. What’s it gonna look like?