Psalm 148 The Voice (VOICE)
1 Praise the Eternal!
5 Let all things join together in a concert of praise to the name of the Eternal,
7 Everything on earth, join in and praise the Eternal;
9 Mountains and hills,
11 All kings and all nations,
13 Let them all praise the name of the Eternal!
Isaiah 63:7-9 The Voice (VOICE)
7 So let me remind you of the Eternal’s enduring love, and why we should praise Him.
8 Eternal One: Surely, these are My people, and they will be true to Me.
And indeed, God became their Savior.
Hebrews 2:10-18 The Voice (VOICE)
Here is God’s Son: Creator, Sustainer, Great High Priest. Jesus has to take on our feeble flesh and suffer a violent death. He suffers for what we need.
10 It only makes sense that God, by whom and for whom everything exists, would choose to bring many of us to His side by using suffering to perfect Jesus, the founder of our faith, the pioneer of our salvation. 11 As I will show you, it’s important that the One who brings us to God and those who are brought to God become one, since we are all from one Father. This is why Jesus was not ashamed to call us His family, 12 saying, in the words of the psalmist,
I will speak Your Name to My brothers and sisters
13 And in the words of Isaiah,
I will wait for the Eternal One.[b]
Look, here I am with the children God has given Me.[c]
14 Since we, the children, are all creatures of flesh and blood, Jesus took on flesh and blood, so that by dying He could destroy the one who held power over death—the devil— 15 and destroy the fear of death that has always held people captive.
16 So notice—His concern here is not for the welfare of the heavenly messengers, but for the children of Abraham. 17 He had to become as human as His sisters and brothers so that when the time came, He could become a merciful and faithful high priest of God, called to reconcile a sinful people. 18 Since He has also been tested by suffering, He can help us when we are tested.
Matthew 2:13-23 The Voice (VOICE)
13 After the wise men left, a messenger of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream.
Messenger of the Lord (to Joseph): Get up, take the child and His mother, and head to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you it is safe to leave. For Herod understands that Jesus threatens him and all he stands for. He is planning to search for the child and kill Him. But you will be safe in Egypt.
14 So Joseph got up in the middle of the night; he bundled up Mary and Jesus, and they left for Egypt.[a]
16 After a few months had passed, Herod realized he’d been tricked. The wise men were not coming back. Herod, of course, was furious. He simply ordered that all boys who lived in or near Bethlehem and were two years of age and younger be killed. He knew the baby King was this age because of what the wise men told him.
Herod knows ordinary babies will die in this purge, but he doesn’t care—Herod is not so much cold-blooded as pragmatic, willing to do whatever is necessary to kill this new supposed King. And so all those other baby boys die. But, of course, Herod’s plan ultimately fails. He doesn’t know the baby Savior has been whisked to safety in Egypt.
17 This sad event had long been foretold by the prophet Jeremiah:
18 A voice will be heard in Ramah,
15 Joseph, Mary, and Jesus stayed in Egypt until Herod died. This fulfilled yet another prophecy. The prophet Hosea once wrote, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”
19 And after Herod died, a messenger of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt:
Messenger of the Lord: 20 You may go home now. Take the child and His mother and go back to the land of Israel, for the people who were trying to take the child’s life are now dead.
21 So Joseph got up and took Mary and Jesus and returned to the land of Israel. 22 Soon he learned that Archelaus, Herod’s oldest and notoriously brutal son, was ruling Judea. Archelaus might not be any friendlier than Herod had been. Joseph was simply afraid. He had another dream, and in this dream, he was warned away from Judea; so Joseph decided to settle up north in a district called Galilee, 23 in a town called Nazareth. And this, too, fulfilled what the prophets have taught, “The Savior will be a Nazarene.”