Matthew 2 provides a detailed account of the events following the birth of Jesus, starting with the visit of the Magi, wise men from the East who had seen a star signaling the birth of the King of the Jews. The Magi’s journey is significant, as it highlights Jesus’ role as a king for all people, not just the Jews. Their expensive gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh further underline Jesus’ royal status, divinity, and eventual death.
The chapter also delves into the actions of King Herod the Great, who, upon hearing about the birth of the King of the Jews from the Magi, becomes deeply troubled. Herod, known for his ruthlessness and desire to hold on to his power, orders the slaughter of all boys in Bethlehem who are two years old and under. This event, known as the Massacre of the Innocents, fulfills a prophecy from Jeremiah about the mourning of mothers in Bethlehem.
Matthew 2 also sheds light on the faithfulness of Mary and Joseph, who, guided by an angel of the Lord, take Jesus to Egypt to protect him from Herod. Their obedience to God’s instructions, despite potential dangers and challenges, contrasts sharply with Herod’s fear and vengefulness. The Holy Family’s return to Nazareth after Herod’s death fulfills another prophecy, that Jesus would be called a Nazarene.
The chapter concludes with the Holy Family’s return to Nazareth after Herod’s death, highlighting God’s providence and protective nature amidst adversities. Furthermore, the fulfillment of multiple prophecies in this chapter underscores the divine orchestration of events in Jesus’ life and the overarching plan of God for the salvation of humanity.
Throughout this chapter, several themes are prevalent. These include the universal kingship of Jesus, the obedience of Mary and Joseph to divine guidance, and the stark contrast between the humble, faithful servants of God and the power-hungry, fear-driven King Herod. These themes serve to further establish the divinity and messianic role of Jesus, while offering valuable insights into the nature of God and His plan for humanity.