Day 1 - Read Matthew 2:1-2
1. a. Who were the Magi?
b. Where did they come from? (Daniel 2:1-28)
c. What were the Magi's main interests?
d. By whom were the Magi heavily influenced during the Babylonian and Medo-Persian empires? (Daniel 1:3-5)
e. How would some of the Magi have known about the birth of the Messiah and become true seekers of God?
2. Who does the Bible record as having been appointed as master of the Magi? Why? (Daniel 5:11-12)
3. Even though the Magi had political power, for what purpose did they come to Jerusalem?
4. Where was Jesus born? Where is that compared to Jerusalem? What does the name mean?
5. What other references do we have to Bethlehem in Scripture?- Gen. 35:19-20
6. What was the nature of the star? Some people believe that it was a genuine star. Read also Luke 2:8-9 to help answer this question. See an Old Testament example (Exodus 24:15-17)
7. Read Matt 2:3-6, 16. Who was King Herod? What kind of man was he?
8. Why was Herod disturbed when the Magi arrived in town?
9. How did all the people of Jerusalem respond to the Magi's question about where the king of the Jews was? Why?
10. Who were the chief priests and leaders of the law with whom Herod consulted?
11. Which prophet is quoted in Matthew 2:6? What kind of person would the Christ be?
12. Why did Herod want to find out where the Christ was to be born? Wasn't it common knowledge where the Messiah was to be born? (John 7:40-42)
13. Read Matthew 2:7-8. Why would Herod have asked the Magi secretly about the exact time the star had appeared?
14. What did Herod tell the Magi he wanted to do when they told him where the child was? What action of his proved his real intention? (Matthew 2:16)
15. What are the three responses to Christ in this chapter and who made them? Are those same responses around us today? Which response do you identify with?
16. Read Matthew 2:9-12. What 2 amazing and divine things happened when they left King Herod that led the Magi to the house in Bethlehem in which Jesus was staying?
17. Why is the baby Jesus mentioned first in connection with His mother? (Matthew 2:11, 13, 14, 20, 21)
18. What 2 things did the Magi do that showed that they saw Jesus as a king and Messiah worthy of worship?
19. What were the gifts that the Wise Men brought used for? What is their significance in relation to Christ?
20. Besides their personal welfare, what is another reason that God desired to protect the Wise Men from Herod?
21. Read Matt 2:13-15. In what way was the dream that Joseph had not a normal kind of dream? In Matthew 1 & 2, where else do we see God revealing something or giving direction through a dream?
22. What was always Joseph's response when he received an instruction from an angel or a dream?
23. What is the main reason that Joseph and his family were directed to Egypt?
24. Read Matthew 2:16-18. Who was the real murderer behind Herod? What effect did Herod's rage have on him & how did he express his rage?
25. Of what was Ramah symbolic? Who does Rachel symbolize? With what was its weeping associated? (Prophecy is found in Jeremiah 31:15)
26. What indicates that Herod was not alone in his opposition to Christ? (Mt. 2:20)
27. Why would Joseph and Mary have thought that the area of Jerusalem would have been a good place to reside?
28. What are the reasons that Joseph and Mary chose to live in Galilee?
29. What is the significance of the meaning of "Nazarene" as applied to Christ?
30. What is one of the central themes of Old Testament prophecy?
31. What are the four prophecies about Christ that were fulfilled in Matthew 2?
1. Who did the people of Jerusalem fear more, God or Herod? Consequently, who directed their lives? Who or what is directing or controlling your life? Is it fear of man or circumstances or is it a reverential fear of God (Read Matthew 10:28-32)
2. Are you among those who seek certain information from the Bible to be used for your own ends, rather than in the manner God designed it? For instance, if you feel that wealth and success is of primary importance, do you look for the verses that emphasize the blessing and victory available in God, and at the same time overlook the mention of contentment and trials that are part and parcel of every Christian's life? Make sure that the conclusions you draw from Scripture and apply in your life take into consideration the context and the true intent of the inspired writer.
3. Which do you think would be worse, indifference to Christ or hostility towards Him? Read Revelation 3:15-17? What is your spiritual health like? Are you hostile, indifferent or worshiping Jesus in love? Are you willing to let Christ give you a routine spiritual checkup, even though it may mean some changes we need to make in our life? List and pray about those things that you want Christ to change.
4. Have you ever thought it would be nice to have to have the same kind of direct verbal guidance that so many Bible characters had. Seeing that we don't have angels who guide us as they did Joseph and so many others, what must we do to confirm our direction as being from the Lord? Look up the following passages and see how God guides us today: Psalm 19:7-11; 119:9-16; Proverbs 3:5-7; 11:14; 12:15; John 16:13-15; Acts 6:1-5; 14:27; 20:22-24; Romans 8:14; 2 Corinthians 2:12-13; Hebrews 13:7, 17; 1 John 2:20,27.
5. Herod had anger without restraint that completely blinded his sense. It is possible to be filled with anger to the extent that it controls you. Do you have an uncontrollable anger? Do certain injustices or adverse circumstances stimulate you to anger? Do you lose your patience easily? To gain a better understanding of the consequences of anger and the benefits of controlling it, read the following verses:
6. Think back through our study covering Matthew 1-2. What have you learned about God's character and how He operates in the world in bringing His plans to pass? What divine attributes were manifested in the events which took place? Based on this passage alone, what could you teach someone else about God? Select a truth that became especially meaningful to you and share it in a family devotion or with a family member or friend.
7. Who are you influencing with your life?Daniel hadn't planned on being taken captive to Babylon, but he was the man God was able to use because of his complete trust in Him. Whether you are in a job, a school, working at home, or even in the hospital, make the most of where God has placed you at the present time by influencing others with issues of eternal consequence. You may never know when the seeds that you have planted will result in others making a commitment to Christ. Do you have Bible knowledge or some spiritual gift that you should be sharing with others? Make a decision to influence those people you come into contact with in the way of righteousness.
8. What/who is the object of your worship? How do you show that?
9. Does God still speak to people in dreams? If so, give examples.
10. Joseph always followed God's instruction, immediately. This past week, did you follow God's instruction immediately?
11. Am I too busy with the everyday issues of life and miss out on spending time and worshipping Jesus as my Messiah?
12. What has been meaningful to you from your study of Matthew 2? What specifically could you apply to your life?