Week 1 – The People of God in a Strange Land
Matthew 2:13-23 Flight to Egypt
Mark 6:1-16 Jesus not respected in Nazareth
By the time we arrive in Matthew and Mark, the people of God have
been awaiting the Messiah for a long time. Of course, they aren’t the only
people on the face of the earth. So when a Messiah shows up, and is
spoken of in political terms, the earthly powers feel threatened. That
precipitates a flight to Egypt. We understand that power doesn’t like
another power moving into town.
Of course, by the time we get into Matthew and see that Jesus is not
welcome in his own hometown. He can’t be the Messiah, because he is
known, he is present, he is near at hand, and they know his family. He is
one of them, and the Messiah can’t be that human.
When the Messiah shows up, it’s not how it is expected. Like the
struggle with the coming of the day of the Lord, the presence of the Savior
of the world is tough, for people in power and for the neighbors who see the
love of God incarnate.