Yesterday, our sermon text was Matthew 2:13-23, the account of Herod’s slaughter of the innocents, the angel warning Joseph in a dream, and Joseph pulling Jesus and Mary out of bed in the middle of the night and fleeing to Egypt.
Calvin asks the question why God would allow His Son such threats and danger to oppress his son, even as an infant? This is a question that hadn’t occurred to me, but it should have.
Why did our Heavenly Father allow His son to be hounded to Egypt by bloodthirsty Herod about whom Augustus said he’d rather be Herod’s hog than his son? Where’s the victorious Christian life—where’s “from glory to glory”—in this part of our Lord’s history? Alright, if it really must be, He can be born in a stable. It’s kind of cute and touching, you know. But fleeing his murder in the middle of the night? And to Egypt?
We must always bear in mind the purpose of God, in training his Son, from the commencement, under the discipline of the cross, because this was the way in which he was to redeem his Church. He bore our infirmities, and was exposed to dangers and to fears, that he might deliver his Church from them by his divine power, and might bestow upon it everlasting peace. His danger was our safety: his fear was our confidence…
We are here taught, that God has more than one way of preserving his own people. Sometimes he makes astonishing displays of his power; while at other times he employs dark coverings or shadows, from which feeble rays of it escape.
This wonderful method of preserving the Son of God under the cross teaches us, that they act improperly who prescribe to God a fixed plan of action. Let us permit him to advance our salvation by a diversity of methods; and let us not refuse to be humbled, that he may more abundantly display his glory. Above all, let us never avoid the cross, by which the Son of God himself was trained from his earliest infancy.
This flight is a part of the foolishness of the cross, but it surpasses all the wisdom of the world.