Bible Study for January 2014 (St.Mathew Chapter 1 & 2)
CHRIST’S GENEALOGY (1:1-17)
Why Jesus is called Christ?
“The Lord, therefore, is called Christ, both as King because He ruled over sin, and as Priest because He offered Himself as sacrifice for us.”
CHRIST’S CONCEPTION BY THE HOLY SPIRIT (1:18)
The mystery of Christ’s being conceived by the Holy Spirit
“Do not speculate beyond the text. Do not require of it something more than what it simply says. Do not ask, ‘But precisely how was it that the Spirit accomplished this in a virgin?’ For even when nature is at work, it is impossible fully to explain the manner of the formation of the person. How then, when the Spirit is accomplishing miracles, shall we be able to express their precise causes?”
ST. JOSEPH VISITED BY THE ANGEL (1:19-24)
Why the angel appeared to St. Joseph the Betrothed?
“The angel appeared to him for three reasons. First, lest an ignorant but just man should do an unjust thing for a just cause. Next, for the sake of her mother’s honor, for if Mary had been put away—not among believers but among unbelievers—the woman could not be above foul suspicion. Third, realizing it was a holy conception, Joseph would in the future keep himself more diligently under control in her regard.”
THE BIRTH OF JESUS CHRIST (1:25)
St. Matthew saying that St. Joseph the Betrothed did not “know (Mary) til she had brought forth her
“(Why) has he used the word ‘until?’ Because it is common in Scripture that this expression is used without reference to specific, limited times…So then here likewise, it uses the word ‘until’ to make certain what was before the birth, but as to what follows, it leaves some further inference to be made. So it is necessary to learn what Matthew teaches: that the Virgin was untouched by man until the birth. But the rest is left for you to perceive, both as a consequence of the previous narrative and what was later acknowledged: that not even after having become a mother and having been counted worthy of a new sort of travail and a childbearing so strange, could that righteous man ever have permitted himself to have sexual relations with her.”
THE MAGI WORSHIP JESUS (2:1-12)
The wise men seeking Christ:
“A star appeared in the heavens, calling the wise men from on high. They made a long pilgrimage to worship the One Who lay in swaddling clothes in a manger. The prophets of old had proclaimed His coming. These and all the other events were more than human.”
THE ESCAPE TO EGYPT (2:13-15)
Why Jesus was taken to Egypt?
“Christ fled so that He might establish the truth of the law, faith in prophecy and the testimony of the Psalter…Christ fled so that at the right time He might serve as a steward of the sacraments. Christ fled so that by granting absolution He might take away the source of abuses to come and that He might give proof of faith to those who would believe. And finally, Christ fled so that He might bestow on us faith even when we have to flee, because in the face of persecution it is better to flee than to deny the faith.”
THE SLAUGHTER OF THE HOLY INNOCENTS (2:16-18)
The Holy Innocents being the first martyrs for Christ:
“These innocents who died then on Christ’s behalf became the first martyrs of Christ…For in this persecution even tiny infants and nursing babies were killed on Christ’s behalf and attained to the consummate praise of martyrs. Meanwhile the wicked king Herod was destroyed, he who had usurped the realm to defend himself against the King of the heavens.
Thus it is that those blessed babes have deserved lastly beyond others. They were the first who were worthy to die on Christ’s behalf.
THE RETURN TO NAZARETH (2:19-23)
why Christ is called a Nazarene?
“Because the author and ruler of every act of sanctity and piety is Christ the Lord, Who said through the prophet, ‘Let them be holy since I am holy, says the Lord (Leviticus 11:44), it was not undeservedly that He was called ‘the Nazarene.’ It was He Who, following truly what was preordained in the law, offered as a pled to God the Father the sacrifice of His own body…The Lord would show Himself as the Nazarene at the time when He became a creature of flesh.”