3) The Move To Nazareth vv. 19-23
The angel was true to his word. He returned to Joseph in another dream and told him to leave Egypt. I wonder who this angel was? His name is not mentioned. Was this the same angel that told Joseph to take Mary to be his wife? If so, God had sent this angel on one of the most important missions in his existence and in Christendom. I will explain later.
Again, the angel said “Get up!” He tells the news of Herod’s death and that it was safe go back to Israel. So they packed to go home to Israel but when they heard by way of another dream, that Archelaus, Herod’s son, was now ruling in the place of his father, they went to the region of Galilee, back to their hometown of Nazareth. Isn’t it interesting that what took place in the life of Jesus was ruled by scripture? There is not an Old Testament scripture that we know of that tells us that the Messiah would be a Nazarene but in the New Testament it is implied through those who talk of the Messiah that “He would be called a Nazarene.” (Matthew 1:22; Luke 1:26; John 1:45-46)
Let’s go back to the angel who appeared to Joseph four times. The unique timing for this angel’s message all had to do with saving the Messiah. God used this angel to save Mary from being stoned by the mob and having Joseph marry her and in turn then saving the baby Jesus in the womb of Mary. The second time the angel was used to save the young child Jesus from the soldiers of Herod who would have killed Him had the angel not come to Joseph in a dream. And the third and fourth time we have seen that the angel told Joseph to leave Egypt and go home to Nazareth to provide a place for Jesus to grow up as a young man, into the Messiah!
Take note now that if the angel had not come to Joseph several times, Jesus would have died but then note too, that if Joseph had not been obedient to God’s warning, Jesus would have died. We have much to give thanks for this Thanksgiving. Amen! Jesus might not have saved you and me if Joseph had not been obedient to the visits from God in a dream. Obedience is crucial to living the Christian life and being in the center of the will of God. Let’s not just recognize what has happened but begin to act ourselves in obedience to the commands of the Lord.
What a great reason to be thankful today!