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Tuesday, January 9, 2024

The Third and Fourth Dreams of Joseph


Matthew 2: 19-23

“19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.” 21 So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, 23 and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.”

The final two dreams of Joseph that we read about are dreams that deal with his return from Egypt to Israel with Mary and the Christ Child.  After each dream, Joseph immediately obeyed the instructions that were given to him.  Joseph trusted God with the lives of his family.

Five days before Herod died, he killed the oldest of his remaining sons and named his younger son Archelaus as the next King. Herod was a brutal tyrant, but Archelaus was worse. God warned Joseph away from Judea and led him to return to Nazareth, where, if you remember, the story began.

The story of Mary and Joseph began in Nazareth.  And with their return, their son began his life as a Nazarene, fulfilling another ancient prophecy that said the Messiah would be called a Nazarene.  God did not cause Herod to kill the children of Bethlehem, but God used Herod’s rage to fulfill His will.  

Despite our sins, despite our rejection of Him, despite the chaos and disorder of this world, God’s will…. will prevail.


May the love of Christ be with you,

Rev. Eric Lanier (Retired)


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