Matthew 2, How To See God’s Word Fulfilled In Your Life

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Jerry Simmons shared this Verse By Verse Bible study from Matthew on Sunday, August 13, 2023 using the New Living Translation (NLT).

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Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:00:00]:

Here we are now in the gospel of Matthew, looking at Matthew chapter 2 this morning. And the gospel of Matthew is that telling, of course, of the life and ministry of Jesus. And the emphasis and perspective that Matthew has is a really a focus on reaching the Jewish people with the message that Jesus is the promised savior, the Messiah that god had been declaring would come from the very beginning back through, Genesis all the way through the rest of the Old Testament script and so, Matthew by far quotes from the Old Testament more than all the other gospel writers. there's at least 65 Old Testament quotations and, many more, of course, illusions and references that we could add up as well and probably count it a little bit differently depending on who we are, but but, a lot of quotations, a lot of references, and pulling from, and and revealing the foundation of the life and ministry of Jesus that has laid there in the old testament. Well, here in chapter 2 of Matthew, we see 4 of those quotations. reference to the different locations where Jesus would be for certain portions of his life in Bethlehem, mentioned in verse 6, in Egypt, in verse 15, and in verse 23 in Nazareth, as well as the prophecy of the lamentation that would experience be experienced in Bethlehem and the surrounding region that was inflicted by King Harrod, and that's, referenced there in verse 18. All of those are verses here in chapter 2 that call back to old testament scriptures and show the fulfillment that Jesus did not just have a life that was independent and just, you know, completely different than anything else expected, but that his life and ministry was laid out by the father and foretold in the scriptures. The word of god was fulfilled in the life and the ministry of Jesus.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:02:12]:

So as we look at chapter 2 of Matthew this morning, I've titled the message how to see god's word fulfilled in your life. as we see this fulfilled in the life of Jesus and those who were engaged with him and interacting with him, I also want to encourage you to consider having the word of god fulfilled in your life. There is so much in the scriptures that god wants to fulfill. He wants to bring to pass. There are promises that god desires to accomplish in your life. There's works and miracles that he desires to do, healing, physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, strength, for you and for your soul, blessing in your life and and in your family eternal benefits that god wants to accomplish so much that god's word can be fulfilled in our lives, but how do we see that? How do we bring that to pass? How do we experience the word of god being fulfilled and receive the promises and the goodness and the blessings that god has for us. Well, three things I like to share with you from Matthew chapter 2 this morning to help us do that, to help us see god's word fulfilled in our life. And looking at, the different people here in Matthew chapter 2 will help us to, see the example and take action in accordance to what they have done.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:03:39]:

And so we're gonna look first of all in verses 1 through 11. Here's point number 1, seek god in the light you have. Seek god in the light you have. We're starting out here in verse 1 and 2. It says Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea during the reign of King Harrod, about that time, some wise men wise men from Eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem asking where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him. We're doing Christmas in August this year. Looking at Matthew chapter 2, the birth of Jesus has just taken place in chapter 1, but now Jesus, as he continues to develop and grow as a baby as a child, He is in Bethlehem, and now there's some visitors that are coming to worship him, these wise men from the east. Now as we look at these verses versus 1 through 11 and talking about seeking God in the light you have, there's 3 groups that we're going to consider.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:04:55]:

First of all, the wise men, then we'll take a look at the religious leaders here in passage and then look at King, Herrod, the great. And, the different ways that they reacted to the light being revealed. The wise men were reacting quite literally to a light that was revealed. They saw a star, they say, in verse 2. We saw his star as it rose. These wise men, we don't know a lot about them. It is most commonly believed that they were probably from Babylon and maybe in some ways descendants of the wise men of Daniel's era that, passed down the teachings and prophecies of Daniel to, the the wise men, a group of men in Babylon, who were focused on, science, astrology, nature, study of all kinds of things, medicine, and and, Daniel, at one time, during his life was the leader of this group of people because of the way that god used him in nebuchadnezzar's life. And so it's possible that Daniel kind of, put some things down that that we don't even have recorded in the scriptures for ourselves, but that they were familiar with the teachings of Daniel, they were expecting the birth of a messiah, but whether they were from that lineage, or not, the point is they saw a star.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:06:26]:

They knew it had incredible significance regarding the king of the Jewish people, and so they took action. They reacted to the light that they had seen and they pursued it. They used that light to instigate this trip from the east to Jerusalem. Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, but notice They're not just curious scientists who are exploring things and wanting to find out, you know, like, is there gold at the end of the rainbow? Right? We saw star, where's the king at the end of the rainbow, the star, whatever. Right? They're they're not just curious figuring out, like, how did this happen? What's the physics here that were in place that caused this star to happen. They declare their intentions in verse 2. We have come to worship him. And so, they have a clear understanding.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:07:26]:

This star had great significance to them. We saw his star. We know it means the king of the Jews has been born, and so we have made this trek we have deliberately come this way to worship this newborn king. This word worship, it's, one that we talk about from time to time, the common word for worship throughout the new testament. It it means to kiss to adore, to, prostrate before. That is to to bow down before, but but with the idea of blowing kisses, a little bit foreign to us in our society and on our culture, but it was normal in their culture. It was the way that you would show respect and reverence for great authorities. You would blow kisses in their direction.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:08:18]:

Now, that's not normally done you know, except for, you know, between family perhaps today, but but that was something that they would do as a as a a token of adoration, a token of respect, and and they're coming to worship Jesus, to bow down before him, to kiss him and to blow kisses towards him to show their respect and adoration of him. And so these wise men have some light. Now they don't know everything because they don't show up in Bethlehem. they show up in Jerusalem. They had a little bit of light. They didn't know all the truth They didn't know know all the significance. They didn't know exactly where to find this newborn king, but they saw a star and knew that it meant that they needed to journey towards Israel. based on the wording that you see as you go through this chapter, it's very possible that the wise men didn't always see the star.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:09:23]:

That is it didn't necessarily rise. This is how I usually picture it. Right? They see the star They know what it means, and then they follow it and their whole journey. Maybe it took 3 months. Maybe it took 6 months. Maybe it took a year for them to get to Jerusalem from wherever they were in the east. And I can usually picture a star leading them the whole way, kind of like how the children of Israel had the fire that led them by day and the cloud by night, right, that that was day by day for sure. Right? But this the way it's worded here because in a little bit, we're gonna see the star appear again, which implies that the star wasn't always visible.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:10:07]:

It was not visible for some time, and then they see it again, and they rejoice greatly. And so they don't know all the details. They've seen a start and perhaps they only saw it on the night of Jesus's birth. And if you wanna get really silly, you can maybe think, you know, when the angels appeared to the shepherds, and then the heavenly host joined them and said, glory to god in the highest, and perhaps they saw that light. Perhaps that was the star that they saw. Not trying to establish that as a fact, but just as a fanciful imagination, but they they saw it. And maybe just for 1 night, and they knew what it meant. And they said, we gotta go to Israel.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:10:48]:

Jerusalem, the capital that makes sense. It's the natural thing to do to go to Jerusalem so they show up at Jerusalem looking for this newborn King. They don't know where to find him. And so they're just kinda wandering the streets. Hey, we heard the newborn king. just arrived. And, where can we find him? And so, Harrod hears about this And, Harrod, you have to know a little bit about King Harrod. He was paranoid as king.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:11:19]:

He notur notoriously killed his wife and multiple of his sons because he suspected they were, plotting against him. He he was working hard always to defend his throne. And so the thought of the rumor of a newborn king was a great threat to King Herrod. And so he ushers in quickly and and begins to make arrangements. He calls a meeting for the religious leaders, and he says, guys, There's this group here saying the newborn king is here. Where is the king gonna be born? And the religious leaders were able to point harrod directly to Bethlehem. And so in verse 78, we have the communication of this message, the specific location from harrod to the wise men verse 7 and 8 says, then Harrod called for a private meeting with the wise men, and he learned from them the time when the star first appeared. Then he told them, go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:12:22]:

And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him too. They didn't have all the light They didn't know the whole truth, so they show up. They're asking around in Jerusalem. And now they have a little bit more light. through the scriptures because god had foretold that the savior would be born in Bethlehem. And so their light now is increasing. Now the messenger is kinda weird, right, because it's horrid telling them this. But it is the truth.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:12:57]:

It is the scripture being revealed to them. And so, herod ushers them to Bethlehem, go go search carefully and find the child. He is located in Bethlehem. Verse 9, After this interview, the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy. So here we have the appearance of the star again.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:13:37]:

You're following the progression here. They had a little bit of light. We don't even know where it all came from. They had a little bit of understanding. God was going to bring forth a savior. And when they saw a little bit of evidence of that, they began to seek it out. They began to seek out what god had done. And then Through that process, the Lord gave them a little bit more light, and the scripture brought a little bit more detail to the understanding that the child is in Bethlehem.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:14:09]:

And so then they react to that, and they began to operate in light of this new information that has come forth. And as they seek the lord, according to the light that has been given to them, now they get more light. The star appears again and guides them to Bethlehem. Now, it says when they saw the star, they were filled with joy. So again, here, it indicates that they weren't seeing the star all of the time, the whole time, the whole journey. They maybe saw it once. They maybe saw it for a portion of the trip. Maybe they saw it here and there.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:14:46]:

We don't know. But now they see the start again. And the star is guiding them with such precision, not just to the town, Bethlehem, but it tells us in verse 9, it stopped over the place where the child was. The star leads them with this great detail right exactly to the very home, to the exact address better than Google Maps or Apple Maps or, any kind of directions that we can get, the star brought them exactly to the location where Jesus was. as they started following the light that had been given to them, god gave them more light. And as they started walking in that, then god gave them more light. And as they started walking in that, then they got to be One of the first to worship Jesus verse 11, they entered the house and saw the child with his mother. and they bowed down and worshiped him.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:15:51]:

Then they opened their treasure chest and gave him gifts of gold Frankincense and myrrh. They announced when they got into Jerusalem that they were there to worship the newborn king. And now as they get to the house, they see the child, they get to do exactly that. they bow down and worship. Now worship itself speaks of bowing down, but They also bowed down. They bowed down and bowed down blowing kisses in his direction. Do do you picture that scene? These wise men from the east, Great entourage is very likely. They were prestigious men educated men, they were esteemed and well off.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:16:45]:

They had great gifts to give. They were wealthy. They were intelligent. They were respected in the community, and they bow down before the child Jesus. At this time, Jesus is less than two years old. This is not the night of his birth. This is sometime between his birth 2 years. We'll see that in just a moment.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:17:16]:

He's maybe a year old, maybe six months old, maybe a year and a half old, and here are these executives the, you know, well known scientists of the day, and they're physically literally bowing down before Jesus, blowing kisses at him in worship and adoration, of him. They got to be one of the first to truly worship the lord. as they responded to the light that was given to them. Pastor Chuck often would say never trade what you know for what you don't know. There's a lot of times that we have questions that we don't have the answers to. And sometimes we allow those questions to prevent us from seeking god. Because I don't know this because I don't have an answer for that. I I refuse to step forward into the direction of the lord.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:18:29]:

I refuse to respond or to obey, but the example in the pattern that we see in the scriptures is that when you respond to the first little bit of light, the first little bit of revelation from god then god is faithful as you respond to him to bring further revelation. And god promises throughout the scriptures that if you seek him, you will find him. Duteronomy chapter 4, as Moses is ministering to the nation of Israel, talking about a time and a season in their life where they will be in captivity because of their rebellion against god. And he gives this promise, but from there, You will search again for the lord your god, and you will search for him with all your heart and soul, and you will find him. This is god's promise to those who desire to know him for those who desire to experience him, to receive him. If you search for him, with all your heart. That is if you really want to know god, if you really want to hear his voice, if you really want to have him lead and guide and direct and operate in your life, search for him with all your heart, and you will find him. Jesus said this in Matthew chapter 7, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:20:09]:

Keep on seeking and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. This is something that we see demonstrated here with the wise men, the magi. They started seeking with just the little bit that they had. And as he continued to ask god for further revelation, god continued to reveal himself and to pave the way for them to encounter and experience Jesus that they might worship him. Now, in contrast to these wise men, we have here in the passage the religious leaders. What light did they have? Let's read verses 336 really quickly. It says King Harrod was deeply disturbed when he heard this as was everyone in Jerusalem.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:21:02]:

He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, where is the messiah supposed to be born? in Bethlehem and Judea, they said, for this is what the prophet wrote. And you, O Bethlehem, and the land of Judah are not least among the ruling cities of Judah, for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people, Israel. Here are these religious leaders that herod seeks counsel with to help guide and direct the magi. But as herod seeks counsel, he pulls in the religious leaders, the chief priest, the scribes. These are the experts in the scriptures. Where is the messiah supposed to be born? And they said, we've never heard of a messiah. What are you talking about? No. They said Bethlehem.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:21:56]:

They knew exactly and immediately the location. This wasn't something, well, I don't know. Let's have to search the archives and dust off the books and try to figure this out. You know, it was encoded and won't be able to figure it out until we crack the code. And, alright, Harrod, we've cracked the code. It's Bethlehem. That's not what happened. Where is the Messiah to be born, Bethlehem? That's what happened.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:22:22]:

The religious leaders knew the scriptures. They knew them well. They knew the precise location. where it was prophesied that the Messiah would be born. They had great light They had the revealed word of god, but they could not care less The wise men have a little tiny bit of light and they travel from the east months. to meet Jesus. The religious leaders have abundant light. Bettlam is five miles away from them as Harrod asked them this question.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:23:12]:

nobody bothered. There was no delegation of the religious leaders sent. There was no chief priest who said, yeah, I better go check this out. I mean, it's only five miles away. It could be the messiah. Let's go see. Nope. We don't care.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:23:32]:

We'll give you the answers. We know all the trivia. We we know what the Bible says. Not interested. don't actually expect it to happen. It's not really, you know, something to take seriously. I know it, but not gonna live my life according to it. Pastor David Platt says this about these religious leaders He says the spiritual state of the priest and the scribes is a sobering reminder that mere knowledge of the scriptures is not enough.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:24:02]:

You can know the text well yet still miss the point. May god keep us from this kind of deceptive rebellion in our own lives and in our own churches? We have great light as we consider these things today. We have not just the old scriptures like they had, but we have the new testament scriptures as well. We have so much revelation and truth from god in his word. And so the religious leaders are a cautionary tale for us. We need to seek god in the light that we have. We have much light. But, again, as pastor Chuck says, don't trade what you know, for what you don't know.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:24:45]:

Sometimes we don't know. There's things that we're struggling with, things that we're wrestling with, and we don't know the answers. We can't figure it out. And so we start putting aside the things of god. We stop seeking god. We stop asking god to work and speak and reveal because of the questions or struggles that we have. And this morning, the lord wants us to remember, don't do that. You have so much light.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:25:12]:

That doesn't mean you have all the answers. You have all the specifics. You know, Bethlehem is one example. there's a lot of things that we don't know. There is so much that god can reveal as we continue to seek him and seek his will for our lives. Well, the third example that we need to consider is the example of Harrod. What light did Harrod have? He had the light of the scriptures as revealed by these leading priests. He had access to the scriptures through the religious leaders that were right there in Jerusalem with him.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:25:52]:

His reaction though, and his response to the light was not to seek god, but was to fight against. Now he tells the wise men in verse 8, go find Jesus, come back and tell me where he is so that I can worship him too, but we know that's not his real intention. I'm gonna bow down before him also, but we know that's not really what he plans to do because well, then a few verses, he is going to attempt to kill the baby to protect his throne. seek god in the light that you have. And these examples, we can consider what kind of seeking are we doing? Like the wise men, not having all the lights, but responding and seeking out the lord and and drawing near to the lord in light of what he has revealed, or we could be like the religious leaders who have light. We have so much available to us and access to revelation and insight about the lord, like never before, but we're not taking any action. Can't even be bothered to go five miles to receive from the lord anything more, or, like, herod, we can be fighting against the light and seeking to snuff out the light so that we can hold on to our own ways, our own ideas, and our own desires. Seek god in the light that you have.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:27:27]:

Well, moving on to verses 12 through 18, we get point number 2. And that is heed god's warnings and take action. He god's warnings and take action. Let's go ahead and read verses 12 through 18. It says, when it was time to leave, They returned to to their own country by another route. For god had warned them in a dream not to return to Harriet. After the wise men were gone, an angel of the lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. Get up, flee to Egypt with the child and his mother, the angel said, Stay there until I tell you to return because Harriet is going to search for the child to kill him.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:28:08]:

That night, Joseph left for Egypt with the child and marry his mother, and they stayed there until herod's death. This fulfilled what the lord had spoken through the prophet. I called my son out of Egypt. Herrod was furious when he realized that the wise men had outwitted him. He sent soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under based on the Wiseman's report of the star's first appearance. Herd's brutal action fulfilled what god had spoken through the prophet Jeremiah. A cry was heard in Rama, weeping, and great mourning. Rachel Weeps for her children refusing to be comforted for they are dead.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:28:57]:

Here, we see quite devastating aftermath of the visit of the wise men as, Harrod, in an effort to protect his throne, and his power and what he wants is willing to put to death. All the young boys, roughly the age of Jesus, as he understood by the appearance There was need for some warnings in light of this danger. And here we see a couple examples of taking heed to the warning that god gives. First of all, we see a warning to the wise men. In verse 12, it tells us that when it was time to leave, the wise men returned to their country, but they took a different route because god had warned them in a dream. They kept responding to the light that god was revealing, to the truth that god was, bringing to them, And now god gives them more truth, more lights, more direction. Guys, don't go back to harrod. Don't tell him where the boy is.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:30:11]:

Don't go that route at all. Take a completely different route to go back to your country, and they respond. They walk in the light that god is giving to them, and they take a different route. And Harrod is not informed of the location. But then, Joseph and Mary and the child are still there, and so god takes some steps to bring a warning to them. Once they were gone, it says in verse 13, an angel of the lord appeared to Joseph in a dream And he said, get up, flee to Egypt with the child and his mother. Listen, Joseph. Harrod is going to attempt to kill Jesus.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:30:57]:

Get up and flee to Egypt. Do you ever imagine the lord providing a warning that says run away. That may not be how we often think of, you know, the things that god might tell us. if you're thinking of it as a multiple choice, like, none of the above is if it's runaway, flee, get out of town, you know, we might be tempted to say none of the above, but actually sometimes the lord wants us to flee And the word flee, it means exactly what it sounds like. It means to run away. Typically, it's used in fear for your life and run away. That kind of fleeing. Not a, you know, meandering kinda just make your way, you know, whenever it's comfortable, but it's more like Hey.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:31:47]:

There's an emergency. There's a danger. You need to run away. Get up. And what do we see Joseph do? Verse 14 tells us that night The angel of the lord appears to Joseph in a dream, and that night, Joseph left for Egypt with the child and marry his mother. Joseph takes heed to the warning that he has given. That night, he has a dream. And that night, when is he dreaming this? That night, he's not saying, okay, maybe next Tuesday.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:32:28]:

Yeah. I should be packed up by then, and, we'll be able to get out of here and go to Egypt. He says, Mary, wake up. We gotta go right now, and they're throwing stuff in the bag. They're they're putting the stuff together. And that night, in the cover of darkness, they head out of town. He takes heed to the warning, and it fulfills the scripture We're told in verse 15, this fulfilled what the lord had spoken through the prophet. I called my son out of Egypt, referencing hosea chapter 11 verse 1, I'm not gonna get into all of the details of these fulfillments.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:33:10]:

And so if you want to spend some time looking at those and considering them I encourage you to do that. It's kind of a different kind of fulfillment. This is not a, direct prophecy being fulfilled, but it's a typology being fulfilled that is pictures of Jesus that were foreshadowed in the Old Testament, foreshadowed by the nation of Israel, And so many times throughout the nation's history, the nation itself is a foreshadowing of what Jesus would do. Remember, Israel went into Egypt. They were in bondage for a while, and then the lord brought them back to the land of Israel. That pictures this portion in Jesus's life when he goes to Egypt, and then a little bit later, he's gonna come back to Israel. Well, Harry's furious when he realizes the magi didn't come back when he realizes they're not gonna tell him where to find this newborn king. And so he decides, what he's gonna do is just take out all the baby boys in order to try to preserve and protect his throne.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:34:16]:

And the scripture is fulfilled in this as well. Here, referencing Jeremiah chapter 31. The cry heard in Rahma, deep anguish, and bitter weeping, as Rachel Weeps for her children. The prophet Jeremiah there in Jeremiah 31 is talking about the captivity that is going on and the weeping of Rachel representative of Israel saying they're weeping for the children who are being taken away into captivity And so there was great wailing. They're gone. They're being taken away by Babylon. And so that foreshadows and parallels what happened here as they were weeping for the children that Harrod has killed. And so there was a need for warning The wise men, they heeded the warning.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:35:05]:

They took action. Joseph, heeded the warning It took action, and so Jesus was protected. Now looking at this, I can't help but say, well, that's nice, but what about protection for all those other babies? The estimates are probably up to or no more than 20 babies were killed. in this event. And that's often shared in an effort to say that's why it's not, you know, recorded elsewhere, but still 20 babies killed That's 20 babies too many. When Jiggery, like, that's wow. That for imagine those families, anybody have a two year old, Don't think about it too much. Right? But it's like it begins to hurt real fast.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:35:51]:

Why didn't god protect them? Now we don't know. Maybe god did. maybe god sent more people out of the town aside from Joseph and Mary. There's a reality to life that we have to come face to face with. Taking heed to god's warnings seeking god in the light that he reveals to us, it doesn't always mean that nothing hurts and nothing bad happens, and we will face no pain. The reality is we live in a world that is fallen as a result of sin. and god still allows for people to have free will to make choices even when those choices hurts and bring pain and are rooted in great wickedness. And we can wrestle with that everybody does.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:36:45]:

And we will continue for many years to come, wrestle with Why does god allow things like this? And why, does god not intervene or stop that? And and we can talk about those things. But Before we go too far down that path, come back to you. Okay. That's the reality This is why we need to Your life has the potential, the capacity for much hurt and much pain that can be avoided if you will listen to god. If you will listen to god, it doesn't mean there will be no pain and no hurt and no difficulty. But if you will listen to god, it does mean that you can avoid much pain. and much hurt and have the promise that even the hurt and pain that you do experience will be worth it for all of eternity. There's some things in your life that if you allow them to continue, you will experience the consequences of them for the rest of your life.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:37:58]:

There's some things in your marriage that if you don't take heed to the warnings that god is extending to you, you will experience the consequences of that in your marriage and in your life for the rest of your life. And it will be hurt and pain that will endure but can be avoided if you will listen to god. In your workplace, there are things that if you will take heed to god's warning warning, you can avoid much heartache, much hurt, much pain, much difficulty. In your family, for your physical body, for your emotional state, we could go on and on and on. There are so many things that the lord desires to warn you about. just as he warned Cain back in Genesis chapter 4. He said, Cain, why are you angry that your offering was not accepted? You'll be accepted if you do what's right, but if you refuse, sin is crouching at the door eager to control you, you must subdue it. and be its master.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:38:59]:

Don't give in to sin. But what he can do, he gave in to sin. He didn't heed the warning that god gave him. And for the rest of his life, he suffered the consequences of not taking heed to that warning. Remember god warned Peter in Matthew chapter 26. Peter, you're gonna deny me before the rooster crows three times. or before the risk occurs, you're gonna deny me three times. I'm not gonna do that.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:39:28]:

Then they go pray in the garden, and his jeez, praise. He comes back. He finds them sleeping. He wakes them up. Matthew chapter 26. He said to Peter, he's singling out Peter Peter, Couldn't you watch with me 1 hour? Watch and pray so that you won't give into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak. Peter, here's a warning.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:39:52]:

You're on the verge of caving in to some serious temptation. You're gonna deny me, but you're you're not taking heed to the warning. Watch and pray. In Revelation chapter 23, we find Jesus writing letters to 7 churches. In each one of them, he gives warnings. church. Pay attention. Listen to what I'm saying.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:40:16]:

Whoever has a ear to hear, let them hear. Take heed to these warnings. You need to repent of your sin. You need to not be afraid of the suffering that is about to come. You you need to wake up and strengthen what remains. You can read through those letters to those churches in Revelation chapter 23 and see the warnings that are there. So many warnings, so much difficulty and hurt and heartache can be avoided. Not all of it.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:40:44]:

We live in a fallen world. We're impacted by sin. That's challenging to us theologically. There is so much that the lord does desire to preserve us from, to bring us through, and so he warns us. He calls sin sin because it hurts and destroys. Well, finally, we're gonna look at verses 19 through 23 for point number 3, Ask god to direct you step by step. If you want to see god's word fulfilled in your life, Number 1, you need to seek god in the light that you have. Don't let questions and doubts and things that you don't know.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:41:25]:

Stop you from seeking god. Respond to what god has revealed what you do know and seek god and call out to god from there. And as god extends warnings, You need to take action. Even if it's not what you want, even if it's not what you're hoping for, even if you don't really think the warning is necessary, take action. God doesn't warn needlessly. Now, number 3, ask God to direct you step by step. Verse 19. When Harry died, an angel of the lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:42:00]:

Get up, the angel said, take the child and his mother back the land of Israel because those who were trying to kill the child are dead. So Joseph got up and returned to the land of Israel with Jesus's mother. But when he learned that the new ruler of Judea was Herrod's son, archeleus, he was afraid to go there. Then after being warned in a dream, he left for the region of Galilee. So the family went and lived in a town called Nazareth. This fulfilled what the prophets had said, he will be called in Nazareth. Here as we see this final passage, we get to see Joseph being led by the lord. Joseph was directed by the lord.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:42:43]:

And I and I wanna walk through just some of the examples, just kinda talk through some of this that even happens before, what we're reading here. Joseph was directed by the lord in Matthew chapter 1, when the lord told him, take Mary as your wife. As it's uncovered that she is pregnant, and he knows, well, I didn't do that. So he's thinking she's betrayed him, been unfaithful, and the lord directs Joseph. and says, don't worry. She hasn't been unfaithful. That child is the product of a miraculous work of god. Take Mary as your wife.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:43:26]:

And Joseph does what god instructs him to do. It fulfills the word of god in Isaiah chapter 7 verse 14. And then Joseph registers in Bethlehem. Why? Well, this is recorded in Luke chapter 2. You can summarize it this way. He was forced by circumstance. to register, to move. They were living in Nazareth, seventy miles north.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:43:49]:

They had to take that trek while Mary was at the end stage of her pregnancy. They had to take that track down to Bethlehem forced by the decree of Caesar. but it fulfilled the word of god in Micah chapter 5 verse 2. And so even the forced circumstance were directed by god. And as Joseph submitted to those circumstances to that instruction, he experienced the fulfillment of the word of god in his life. Then flee to Egypt, as we saw in Matthew 2, 13 through 15, fulfilled hosea chapter 11, verse 1, and Joseph responded. And he did what we he was instructed to do. Then return to Israel now in verses 19 through 21, Herrod has died.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:44:37]:

The angel says, get up, go back to Israel. And so verse 21 tells us, Joseph got up and returned to the land of Israel. You can see step by step, Joseph is being directed by the lord, and he's doing what the lord says. But the last one I think is really interesting. In verse 22, It says when he learned that the new ruler of Judea was Herritt's son, archeleus, he was afraid to go there. Then after being warned in a dream, he left for the region of Galilee. There's a progression here. In Egypt, god says, wake up, get up.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:45:17]:

Go back to Israel. And so that's what he knew. He got up. He went back to Israel, and he was not headed back to Nazareth, where they had originally departed because of the census, he was headed back to Judea. That was Southern Israel. as he gets into the area, though, it says when he learned. So so he's already on his way. He's left Egypt.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:45:45]:

He's now in Israel and he learns something. He discovers something. Arcolleus, the son of Harriet is now ruling this region. And Arkeleus was a worst king than Harrod was, a worse ruler than Harrod was, I should say. And so then it tells us he's afraid. So here he is. God told me to come here, but, woah, the situation is even worse than before, and it says that he was afraid. And then the end of verse 22, after being warned in a dream, he left for the region of Galilee.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:46:22]:

You see the progression? He went, then he learned, then he was afraid, and then he was warned in a dream. I would look at this and say, okay, god. You already were going through all the trouble of sending an angel to reveal himself to Joseph in Egypt Why not direct him to Nazareth right then? Why haven't go through all this whole thing about, you know, going there and then learning something and then being afraid? And then God directs us, not with the final blueprint, not with all the details that we need, He directs us step by step, and we need to allow the lord, and we need to invite the lord to direct us this way. because he doesn't always reveal. Sometimes he does. Now, of course, we always want him to. He doesn't always review the end result. And sometimes the first step is just the first step so that then he can give us the next step.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:47:24]:

Joseph was afraid to go there. I imagine Joseph in this situation. He learns of it. He's fearful. He's traveling and Freding in his mind and wrestling, what am I gonna do? It's scary, and it's dangerous. And how am I gonna protect Jesus? And and as he's seeking the lord about how to protect Jesus in the midst of that, then god gives him the next step. Go to Galilee. Now they probably didn't want to go to Galilee.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:47:53]:

Back to Nazareth, very small town, maybe five hundred people probably in Jesus' day, They all knew what happened. Joseph and Mary weren't quite married yet. They were betrothed, but not married, and she was pregnant, and the whole town, you know, 500 people, they all know everything. Boy, that's gonna be hard for us to go back there. It's gonna be hard for Jesus to be raised up in that kind of environment. Quite a scandal in a small town. Probably not what they wanted. That was wasn't where they're going.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:48:23]:

Also, Hey, if Jesus is the king, the Messiah, well, he should be in judea. That's where all the important stuff is, all the important people are. Galilee is Frowned upon scorned, but step by step. God led them exactly where they needed to be. That's how god desires to lead us. If you wanna see the scriptures fulfilled in your life, to have god's work and blessing and goodness and protection and hand upon your life, these are some things that you can do. Seek god in the light you have. heed god's warnings and take action and ask god to direct you step by step.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:49:08]:

We're gonna close our time together today with, partaking of communion. And so the worship team's gonna come up and the guys are gonna pass out the bread and the cup It's a great opportunity for us to seek god in the light that we have. particularly today, he's given us the light of the bread and the cup. This is my body, which is broken for you, he said. Do this in remembrance of me? This is my blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in remembrance of me. These symbols are light from god to remind us of our need for the lord of his love for us and of the work that he desires to do in us. And so we can partake of communion and seek the lord in light of his Christa fiction in light of his work on our behalf and forgiveness that he offers to us.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:50:04]:

We can also take heed to the warnings. There's many warnings, and maybe it's warnings that god has already spoken to you, but you've been kind of resisting. Would you allow this time to be a time where you accept the warning. It's okay, lord. I know you've been telling me this. I haven't been wanting to do it. I haven't been wanting to listen to it. But as I partake this morning, I'm telling you I'm gonna follow what you say.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:50:30]:

I'm gonna take heed and take action according to your instruction. And maybe this morning, you need to ask god to direct you step by step. It's a great opportunity. You have access to the father because of what Christ has done for you, ask god to direct you. What is the next step? What does god have for you this week, tomorrow, the rest of the day today, next year? What is god's plan and god's will for you? Let's take this time and worship the lord and seek him in the light that he has provided, the bread, and the cup to remind us of his work for us and his love towards us. What I pray that you would help us to seek you fully and with our whole hearts. And, Lord, may we follow your warnings and instructions Lord would you direct us and the next things, the steps that you want us to take, help us learn to trust you and to walk in faith and obedience. in Jesus name, we pray.

Pastor Jerry Simmons [00:51:33]: