|"The Wise Men Come to Worship" by James Tissot|
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Matthew 2:1-12
TO CHEW ON: "Then being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way." Matthew 2:12
A sidebar article in my Bible observes about dreams, "The NT opens with a burst of dreams, visions, angelic visitations and prophecies and closes with John's revelation…" James W. Ryle, "Dreams, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1291,2.
The story of Jesus' incarnation is particularly full of dreams.
- An angel comes to Joseph in a dream to tell him it is OK to marry Mary - Matthew 1:20.
- In our reading today, an angel warns the wise men away from return to Herod - Matthew 2:12.
- In the next verse of Matthew, we have another dream of Joseph's in which an angel tells him to flee from Herod to Egypt with Mary and baby Jesus - Matthew 2:13.
- After Herod dies, an angel gives Joseph the news and tells him to settle his family in Israel - Matthew 2:19.
- En-route another dream confirms his intuition about the danger of living in Judea and so he returns to Galilee - Matthew 2:22.
The article quoted from above goes on to say:
"…neither Jesus nor the apostles give any particular precept concerning the phenomena of dreams or visions. This is somewhat enigmatic in that, while the Bible does not teach about dreams and visions in any systematic manner, yet by citing so many significant examples it validates their existence and use by God as a means of communicating to people" - Ibid.
What do you think—does God still speak to people in dreams today? Google that question and you'll raise many links to check out. Perhaps one of the simplest answers is on the Billy Graham Evangelical Association Answers page:
"God may communicate through dreams or visions even today, but we need to carefully check any such guidance we receive with Scripture and godly counsel to be sure it is from the Lord..." (read the entire answer).
PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for preserving Jesus' human life through dream warnings and messages. I know You can communicate to me in whatever way You choose. Help me to be listening. Amen.
MORE: Feast of the Epiphany
Today the church celebrates the Feast of the Epiphany.The day's liturgy begins with this collect:
O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Two books that are full of inspiring stories of God revealing Himself to people in a variety of ways including dreams are:
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.