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Travels to Egypt
Matthew 2.13-23

I was once preaching at a big Christmas service where a well-known historian, famous for his scepticism towards Christianity, had been persuaded to attend by his family. Afterwards, he approached me, all smiles.

‘I’ve finally worked out’, he declared, ‘why people like Christmas.’

‘Really?’ I said. ‘Do tell me.’

‘A baby threatens no one,’ he said, ‘so the whole thing is a happy event which means nothing at all!’

I was dumbfounded. At the heart of the Christmas story in Matthew’s gospel is a baby who poses such a threat to the most powerful man around that he kills a whole village full of other babies in order to try to get rid of him. At the heart of the Christmas story in Luke, too, is a baby who, if only the Roman emperor knew it, will be Lord of the whole world. Within a generation his followers will be persecuted by the empire as a danger to good order. Whatever else you say about Jesus, from his birth onwards, people certainly found him a threat. He upset their power-games, and suffered the usual fate of people who do that...

Taken from Matthew for Everyone – by Tom Wright

Publisher: SPCK - view more
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