Posted by: Patrick Allen Foster | December 26, 2013

The Flight to Egypt

Vitrail Notre-Dame de Paris 191208 04 Fuite en Egypte

From the Gospel of Matthew (2:13-16):

And when [the magi] had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.” When Joseph arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt, and stayed there until the death of Herod — so that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled, “Out of Egypt have I called my son.”

When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He then ordered the massacre of all the children that were in Bethlehem and its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had ascertained from the wise men.

(KJV with revisions.)

Mark Sandlin:

Mary and Joseph and their family had to flee their homeland because King Herod strong-handedly used his power to squash out what he saw as a threat to his power. I can guarantee you two things; One, in the house where Jesus grew up, the narrative of why they had to flee to Egypt and of the senseless deaths imposed on other families by the powerful was a story that was told time and time again. Two, the focus on abuse of power in Jesus’ teaching and his constant willingness to confront it was no accident. Christmas should cause Christians to recommit to confronting those who abuse power.

Image Credit: The Flight into Egypt, stained glass in a choir chapel, Notre Dame cathedral, Paris, France. Photo by Vassil, December 2008. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

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