Christmas 1 Year A 29th December 2013
Right through his gospel Matthew is keen to parallel events in the Hebrew Scriptures with those in his gospel. His goal is to present his gospel as a fulfilment of the events of old. Today then we read twice of the dreaming of Jesus’ father, Joseph, who of course linking that dreamer, gone long before, Joseph, with his coat of many colours. With such paralleling in mind then our Gospel has the Hebrew Scriptures three times quoted. The first of these, ‘I called my son out of Egypt’ comes from Hosea 11:1, the second, that of Rachel’s weeping is from Jeremiah 31:15, while the third, the call to take the child back to Israel is an illusion to Exodus 4:19-29 where Moses is told to return to Egypt. Of particular importance in Matthew’s gospel is that of the last of the three, the paralleling of the events of Jesus with those of Moses long gone before. This paralleling as I have said before is known as midrash. It is used to show that the divine is at work in an event now happening by linking it with an event of the past where all believed God was at work.