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Transcript of Infancy Narratives
Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2Infancy Narratives
Matthew emphasizes that Jesus birth is the climax of Gods long history with IsraelJesus epitomizes all of Israels historyEpitomize = to be an perfect example, or ideal representation, of something
Many Old Testament references are usedTo show that Jesus fulfills the expectations of the Jewish Messiah
Matthews TheologyMt 1 : 18-25Joseph is instructed to name JesusWhy?By law, it makes Joseph the legal father of JesusSignificance?It affirms the Davidic descent of JesusAnnunciation TO Joseph
Matthews agenda is reinforced in this story1. star from the eastThis recalls the oracle of David in Numbers 24
2. Magi find Jesus in a houseThis implies that Joseph and Mary were residents of Bethlehem, not Nazareth-David lived in Bethlehem
3. Gold, Frankincense, and MyrrhUsed at the burial of a king-One of the Jewish requirements was that the Messiah might be a kingAlso represents King, Priest, and Prophet-Messiah was believed to be either a king, high priest, or a prophetStory of the Magi
Matthews birth narrative constantly references figures from Israels history (ex. Moses, Joseph, and, of course, David)1. Flight to EgyptRecalls Josephs escape from his brothers into Egypt2. Return out of Egypt recalls Moses leading Israel back into the Promised Land3. Massacre of the InnocentsThis is when Herod ordered all male children under 2 to be killedIt parallels Pharaohs killing of the newborn Hebrew males in ExodusOld Testament ReferencesThroughout the Gospels (especially Matthews Gospel) dozens of OT prophecies are shown to be fulfilled by JesusSome examples include:Mt. 1 : 22-23 - Immanuel born of a virgin (Isaiah 7)Mt. 2 : 5-6 - Coming of shepherd from Bethlehem (Micah 5)Mt. 2 :15 - Gods son called out of Egypt (Hosea 11 : 1-4)Mt. 2 : 17-18 - Rachels lamentation for her children (Jeremiah 31)Mt. 2 : 23 - One who shall be called a Nazorean (Judges 13 : 5) Fulfillment PassagesJesus is the bringer of peace between Israel and Gentile nations
Luke also shows concern for the poor and lowly
Some features of the birth narrative also reveal Lukes agenda of showing the Romans that Christianity is not a threat to the Empire (though the majority are found in the Passion Narrative)Lukes theologyUnlike Matthew, Luke rarely uses fulfillment passagesInstead his narrative echoes episodes from the Old TestamentEx. : Zechariah and Elizabeth having a child in their old age What OT story does this parallel? Abraham and Sarah in GenesisLukes StyleReveals Lukes agenda:Mary and Joseph travel from their home in Nazareth to BethlehemWhy?To enroll in the censusSignificance for Lukes agenda?It shows a law-oriented Roman audience that Mary and Joseph are law abiding citizens2. Announcement to the ShepherdsAngel uses three titles to refer to Jesus1. Savior rescue his people2. Christ Anointed One, successor of David3. Lord sits at Gods right handThus, Jesus is the Messiah
The BirthLukes concern for the poor also shows in the birth narrative:swaddling cloths (also links Jesus to Solomon Wisdom of Solomon 7 : 3-6)also foreshadows his deaththe placing of the child in a manger A manger was a feeding trough portrays shepherds as first to learn of the birthShepherds were generally viewed as poor and outcast
Lukes Jesus is clearly to be found among Israels lowly.The birth3 canticles are written into Lukes Birth Narrative:The Canticles were early Jewish-Christian songs of praise modeled after the psalms(1.) Magnificat ([My soul] magnifies) Lk 1 : 46-55-Echoes the Song of Hannah in 1 Samuel 2 : 1-10-It also shows concern for the poor, a theme found throughout Lukes Gospel
(2.) Benedictus (Blessed) Lk 1 : 68-79- The Benedictus expresses both an early Jewish christology and Lukes belief that Jesus is the bringer of peace between Israel and the Gentile nations.
(3.) Nunc Dimittis (Now you dismiss) Lk 2 : 29-32-Simeons first prophecy weaves several themes from Isaiah into a declaration that the child is important for the whole world.
CanticlesAs with previous scenes echoing OT stories, the presentation of the infant Jesus in the Temple recalls Samuel and his presentation to the priest Eli by his mother Hannah.
This scene, then, asserts that the child is destined to fulfill Gods promise that all the nations will benefit from the light that will shine from Israel.
--This passage also shows that the Holy Family observed Jewish Law
Sacrificing two turtle doves shows Jesus family was poorPresentation in the templeSignificant because:(1.) It shows Christ is aware of His identity and mission(2.) It shows Christ is comfortable in the Temple (his Fathers house) and well educated in Jewish law(3.) It shows Christs obedienceFinding in the temple