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The infancy narratives refer, of course, to the stories in the Bible that tell of the events that surrounded the birth of Jesus. But from that broad definition, we must examine the fact that Matthew and Luke are the two Gospels where these stories will be found--and they do not follow along precisely with each other... Yet, by examining the differences, we can construct the entire narrative. And it is complete enough to support the Theological reality that paints a precise picture of the Life of Jesus. When we think of the difficulties that Baby Jesus went through, we see the inevitable path of how dicey His life on Earth would turn out to be. King Herod and his minions--directed by Satan--attempted to snuff out our Savior at the very beginning. Fear that his throne would be usurped by the birth of the King of the Jews (Matthew 2:2) caused this maniacal despot to order all the baby boys in the realm killed. A major difference is the viewpoints Matthew and Luke take. In the shorter narrative in the Gospel of Matthew, the focus differs markedly from the longer version as recounted in the book of Luke. In Luke we see an emphasis on events before Jesus' birth, examining Mary and the run up to the story of the overcrowded inn and the humble lodgings--while Matthew's story focuses on events after the birth of Jesus and places emphasis on Joseph. This divergence of narrative does not mean that the testimony is not accurate--though some theologians dismiss what is called the "historicity" of the accounts. But historicity itself is only a secondary consideration; the two canonical Gospels are primarily Theological testaments. When combined, we have a picture of the trials and tribulations that went into the birthing of Jesus (Luke chapter 2) What follows are the dicey happenings in the processes necessary for the preservation of our Newborn King. It is the totality of the accounts that give us the foreshadowing of the tremendous--incalculable--price of Jesus' sojourn on Earth. Jesus was essentially pursued by enemies--directed by Satan--all through his earthly mission. When His time was not yet ready to come to a close, he always managed to escape. It was when His work was about to be finished--and only then--that the Father allowed Jesus to be given over to the enemy. By examining the foreshadowing texts of both Matthew and Luke, we see the inevitable conclusion of the Story of Jesus from the infancy narratives. Without the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, the other two canonical Gospels--which take up Jesus' story in adulthood--would not complete the picture of our Lord and Savior's sacrifice. It is only the infancy narratives that starkly describe Jesus' vulnerability that fully define His mission.
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