painting of magi visiting baby jesus www.atozmomm.com

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 2, Day 2: Matthew 2:1-8

SUMMARY OF MATTHEW 2:1-8

During the time of King Herod, Jesus was born. Magi came from the east to Jerusalem looking for the king of the Jews to worship him. King Herod heard about the birth of Jesus, which disturbed him. He knew Jesus would be born in Judah in Bethlehem as Micah had foretold.

Herod found out from the Magi the exact time the star had appeared and then told them to report back to him where Jesus was so that he could worship him, too.

BSF STUDY QUESTIONS LESSON 2, DAY 2: MATTHEW 2:1-8

3) The Magi heard that the king of the Jews was born and went to find him to worship him. The news of the birth of the Messiah disturbed King Herod, and he secretly planned to find out where Jesus was from the Magi.

4) Skepticism. Belief. Cherry-picking the parts of the Bible that work and don’t work.

5) By sending challenges my way, as well as victories.

CONCLUSIONS BSF STUDY QUESTIONS LESSON 2, DAY 2: MATTHEW 2:1-8

I don’t remember this part of Matthew’s account! How King Herod used the Magi to discover where Jesus was. King Herod was a weak man and a weak ruler. He was threatened by the birth of Jesus and harbored nefarious inklings towards Jesus right from the get-go. No one had a problem killing infants in ancient times. No doubt that was on Herod’s mind. The Magi were wary of Herod and probably had no intention of returning to him.

END NOTES BSF STUDY QUESTIONS LESSON 2, DAY 2: MATTHEW 2:1-8

Check out these excellent resources for more in-depth information on the Magi and King Herod

Who Were the Magi?

While there are many questions surrounding the Magi, such as who they were, were exactly did they come from, how many were there, and why would they even care about the King of the Jews being born, Matthew focuses on the facts. Magi arrived from the east looking to worship the King of the Jews. They followed a star to find him (another question that Bible scholars cannot answer. What kind of star? And how did the Magi know to follow it?). Regardless, you have foreigners seeking to worship the One, True King. This shows God’s inclusion into His plan for the world.

Who Was King Herod?

Herod was one of many “Herods” in the Bible. They were the ruling dynasty that reigned over the Jews during the time of the Roman Empire. Obviously, he wanted to keep power, and the birth of a foretold king did not help the situation. He would do anything he could to snuff out Jesus’s life, including using the Magis. This Herod was considered a great ruler by Rome because he ran his territory with skill. However, he suffered near the end of his life from paranoia and often killed people when angry. Herod murdered his own sons, his wife, and Sanhedrin, and anyone else who was a threat. He was not a Jew. He was troubled as was others; great uncertainty was about to take root.

map of bethlehem www.atozmomm.comBethlehem was where David was from, and it was super tiny even by ancient times’ standards. It lies six miles to the south of Jerusalem. There is another Bethelehem, too, which is why it is referred to as Bethlehem of Judea.

Note that the star is HIS star. While many try to wonder what the star was naturally, such as a comet, a supernova, or even planetary conjunctions, suffice it to say it was God, plain and simple. In addition, Jesus was born a king, and he is still a king.

The chief priests and scribes were the teachers and those with book knowledge in ancient times.

Fun Fact: Matthew is the only one of the four Gospels that tell the tale of the Magi. This beloved part of the Christmas story holds more significance than just gifts — it shows how God always intended for Jesus to be for everyone. Contact me today!

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 2, Day 2: Genesis 1:3-5

Passage:  And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.  God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.  God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.”  And there was evening, and there was morning–the first day.

Questions:

3)  Genesis 1:3-5:  By creating it and separating it from the darkness for us, giving us morning and evening so we could see since our eyes do not see without light

Psalm 18:28:  He keeps my lamp burning and turns my darkness into light–both literally and figuratively by keeping the devil at bay through His strength

Psalm 36:9:  God is the fountain of life and in His light we see light, meaning in His light (under his loving influence) we see and understand His love in all that surrounds us.

Psalm 119:105,130:  God’s word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path (so we can see where we are going.  Hopefully it’s His way and His path).

His word gives light and understanding to the simple.  We understand better when we read God’s word.

John 1:4-8:  God gave life, which is the light of men.  This light shines in the darkness and the darkness (devil) does not understand it.  John (the Baptist) was sent from God as a witness to the light so that all men might believe.

Here, they are speaking of Jesus as the light of the world.  Through Jesus God gives us light.

John 3:19-21:  Light is here but men still chose darkness.  These people hate the light because the light exposes those evil deeds.  Whoever lives by the truth (God’s word and laws) comes into the light and shows all the evil doers that what you have done is through God.

Light exposes evil.  Light overshadows the evil when we do good.

John 8:12:  Jesus says he is the light of the world and whoever follows him will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.

2 Corinthians 4:4-6:  God has blinded the minds of unbelievers so they cannot see the light of Jesus.  God made His light (Jesus) shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

We know God through Jesus, the light.

1 Peter 2:9:  God’s chosen people were called out of darkness into His light (knowledge of Him).  Light serving as a beacon.

1 John 1:7-10:  Please start reading at verse 5:  Verse 5 declares outright God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.  If we walk in the light (in Jesus and with Jesus and God) we have fellowship with one another, with Jesus, and we are purified of our sins.

4a)  Having Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the faith, the belief of Jesus in your heart gives you light; whereas, non-believers do not have this light.  We shine this light wherever we go.  It should be evident in our actions that we have Jesus.  If we do evil and walk in darkness, we are not living by the truth (and probably don’t have Jesus).  1 John 1:5-7.

Matthew 6:22-23:  The eye (where we see light) is our lamp.  If we are good, we will be full of light.  If your eyes are bad (if you are evil or you shine evil or you do evil), you will be full of darkness.

2 Corinthians 6:14-17:  Light cannot exist with darkness (remember in God there is no darkness).  Thus, do not be yoked together with unbelievers.  Today this would read “don’t hang out with unbelievers”.  For their beliefs will influence yours.  Choose your friends wisely.

Unbelievers are in the dark.  Believers are in the light.  They cannot co-mingle.

[If you did the study of Acts last year, this discussion will be familiar.  It’s not to say not to talk or shun unbelievers or share the light with them.  It is to say don’t spend all your free time with unbelievers who could unduly influence you.]

Ephesians 5:8, 11-12:  Reflects 2 Corinthians 6:14-17 exactly.  Live as children of light.  Ephesians 5 speaks to avoiding darkness and do what pleases the Lord.  Do not be partners with those who are disobedient for God’s wrath will be upon them.

Be imitators of God; be careful how you live; speak words of psalms and praise to each other and not obscene language.  Speak of gratitude and thanksgiving from your tongue.  Always give thanks to the Lord.

Philippians 2:15:  We (believers) shine like the stars in the universe when we embrace the word of life (Jesus and God) and obey His commands.  God will work in you to do His good purpose (Philippians 2:13).

Revelation 21:23-27:  In the final days, there will be no darkness for darkness does not exist with God.  The moon and the sun will no longer be needed for the glory of God will light the entire city/world as Jesus is the lamp.  The nations will follow God’s laws (His light).  Only those saved will exist there for no evil will enter.

Isaiah 60:19:  “The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.”

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  My potty mouth, my bitterness, my anger.  I need to hold my tongue more.  Not release my wrath to others and give it to God.

Conclusions:  Wow!  Exactly what I needed this morning.  A study on how I am good even though I never think so.  A review of some of my favorite passages from last year’s study of Acts.  I am reminded of how I am supposed to reflect God’s light everywhere I go and how I am supposed to be an imitator of God, giving Him praise and thanksgiving as much as possible every day all day long.  How I must speak words of love to all around me.

Gives me something to work on.  I admit I had become complacent this summer in terms of my growth.  I have had so much going on (trying to buy a house, dog dying, moving, school getting started again, finishing my novel) that I have neglected God’s word.  BSF reminds me every fall how I need to stay in it.  Even if only for 5 minutes a day.

Explanation of light:  All light is white light.  The sun is actually shining white light, but the white light is actually all the colors of the rainbow put together except for black.  We only see color because each light beam is a different wavelength and when these individual beams bounce off of things, we see what is left.  The rest of the lights are absorbed by the object.  You see the color that has bounced.

The sky is blue because of our atmosphere.  Our atmosphere absorbs a huge amount of light and what you see is the blue light waves that have bounced off of it.

Our eyes are designed to see with light.  Without our eyes to see the color and our brains to interpret it, we wouldn’t see anything.  Even at night, there is some light somewhere in the house or from the moon so we can see.  Otherwise, it would be pitch black.  Objects are black because they absorb all the colors of light.

God designed us this way.  Some animals can see in the dark.  Their eyes are designed and shaped differently than ours.  But there is still light.  These animals just need much less than we do.

Hence, you could say by itself light is invisible.  Everything is invisible until light strikes it and bends around it.  Then we see color.

Black is not a color for no light bounces off of black.  It absorbs all of the light.  The color of the devil and what we are most afraid of is nothing.  Fascinating, isn’t it?

Explanation summarized from my kids’ Astronomy textbook entitled Exploring Creation with Astronomy by Jeannie Fulbright P.20-23.

Side Note on the passage John 1:4-8:  I am deeply surprised that BSF did not make us read the John 1:1-8.  Here is the crux of the matter, where we are told Jesus was there from the beginning, that Jesus is the Word, Jesus was with God, Jesus is God, and Jesus was there from the beginning.

Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  Notice God “created”.  He didn’t “speak”.  I had always pictured God as speaking the heavens and the earth but now I see Him as merely doing it.

This brings into the discussion of did God know man was to Fall and Jesus was planned from the beginning?  Or did Jesus just always exist (yes, He did) but God was hoping He wouldn’t have to send him?  It’s the question of Free Will and how much does man control his own destiny and does God know it all.  See previous post HERE

I believe God knows what we are going to do before we do it, that He does know all.  So He knew we’d Fall.  He’d sacrifice His only Son.  Yet He did it ANYWAYS!!!  That’s the depth of His love for us.

So the question becomes:  Would you?

Advice to all:  When given all these different passages to look up, take the time to read before and after it.  Especially this time there was a ton more listed before that was relevant to the subject of light.  You have to understand the context of these passages in order to divine its meaning.  Otherwise a verse here and there can seem completely irrelevant.

I know it’s time-consuming.  But anything worth doing takes time.  You just have to prioritize.  The study of God’s word is not the place to cut corners.  Watching less TV, reading one less chapter in your engrossing book, or giving up sleep (this is how I do this) are some places to cut.

Here’s a great verse by verse explanation on John 1:  http://www.fridaystudy.org/html/john/john1.htm