8. a. Joseph moved his family from Egypt back to Israel because the angel once again came to him in a dream, saying, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.” Joseph was obedient.
It would certainly be easier if I was always visited by an angel bearing specific instructions.
b. Why did Joseph not return to Judea? The first reason given is that Joseph was afraid when he heard that Herod’s son was ruling in his father’s place. The second reason is that he was warned in a dream, so he withdrew. It isn’t clear to me whether he heard the news in the dream or he heard about it another way, became afraid, and then had his apprehension validated by the dream.
9. a. Nathanael questioned Jesus’ claim that he was the Messiah because Micah 5:2 says the Messiah will come from Bethlehem.
b. Everything about Jesus speaks of humility. He was not physically beautiful. He was not born of wealthy parents. He was not born in a palace. He was not born in a capital city nor the best neighborhood. It helps to remember these things about Jesus because it reminds us that God does not look at the outward appearance, nor wealth, nor status. He looks at our hearts.
c. God uses the foolish things to confound the wise—the weak things to overcome the strong. The first shall be last and the last first. It’s the upside down kingdom. The only thing worthy of our boasting is in the Lord—not of our own wisdom or strength.