Matthew 2:13-23; 13:55; Luke 2:39-40
After the wise men left Mary and Joseph, the family rested. Little Jesus slept and ate, ate and slept all the while growing bigger and stronger as the weeks passed. One night, Joseph had a dream. Like the wise men, he dreamt God was speaking to him.
“Wake up. Take the child and His mother, you must run away to Egypt and stay there until I tell you. King Herod is going to look for the child in order to kill Him.”
Joseph woke up with a start for the dream seemed so real. He believed it without a doubt because in the past days he had seen how much God was in control. Joseph bowed his head and prayed,
“Yes, God, we will do as You say.”
Joseph woke Mary up and told her about the dream. They quickly packed up their few things and put them on the donkey. Joseph gently lifted the sleeping Jesus and put Him into Mary’s arms then led the donkey from the house and disappeared into the dark night.
Meanwhile, King Herod had waited and waited for the three wise men to return from their visit. When they did not show up, he grew angry. He had wanted to trick them but they had tricked him instead.
“They were supposed to tell me where this king of the Jews is.” Herod did not like the idea of another king. He wanted to be the only king.
“Whoever this king of the Jews is, I will kill him! I may not know where he is, but I know he is still just a baby!”
Herod ordered his soldiers to search Bethlehem for the baby king but when they came to the house, it was empty, Joseph and Mary were safe and on their way to Egypt. Several years passed and the wicked King Herod finally died. Joseph, Mary and Jesus spent that time living safely in Egypt. One night, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream.
“Wake up and take the child and His mother back to Israel.” The angel said.
The next morning Joseph told Mary the good news. Soon on they were home and settled in their village, Nazareth. A long, long time ago, one of the prophets had said the Messiah would be called a Nazarene. In Nazareth, Joseph set up shop as a carpenter and people came to him with their broken chairs and tables. Joseph sawed and hammered all day as he carved wood into furniture. As Jesus grew into a big boy, He often came into the shop to watch Joseph. When Joseph asked Him to help, Jesus would hand Joseph the tools he needed.
In the evenings Joseph and Mary taught Jesus the Jewish history, and about loving God. Joseph and Mary could tell their little boy already knew a great deal about God. The little family learned from each other in those early years when Jesus was a boy.