Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States

Out of Egypt I Called My Son

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Chapter 6

Out of Egypt I Called My Son

When the wise men had departed (see last chapter) an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.

God Almighty, who knows everything even before it happens, knew that king Herod will want to kill our Lord Jesus Christ. So God sent an angel to Joseph in a dream to tell him to go to Egypt and stay there until it is safe to come back to Israel.

When Joseph got up the next morning he immediately packed their belongings and then he took the young Child and His mother by night and left for Egypt.

Tradition tells us that the holy family stayed in Egypt for three years and six months. They stayed in Upper Egypt at what is now the Monastery of the Virgin Mary. It is also known as El-Meharrak in the middle of Egypt.

Isaiah the great man and prophet of the Old Testament wrote, In that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt (Is 19:19). In the monastery of the Virgin Mary, there is a church and in that church is an altar, on which the Eucharist lays and is enjoyed by anyone who goes to take the Communion there.

The holy family stayed in Egypt until king Herod died so that the prophecies of Hosea the prophet may be fulfilled which said, Out of Egypt I called My Son (Hosea 11:1). Remember that the angel of the Lord, sent by our Heavenly Father, went to call back Gods Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to Israel from Egypt.

Meanwhile, back in Israel, king Herod found out that the wise men tricked him and went back to their countries without letting him know where the young Child was. He was so angry that he ordered his soldiers to kill every boy child two years and under. [Remember that he found out from the wise men when the star appeared and he calculated that the young Child was not older than 2 years]

King Herod was so cruel and mean that he didnt care about anyone but himself. He wanted to make sure that no one else became king (remember what the wise men told him in the last chapter?)

When king Herod died, the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Childs life are dead.

The next morning Joseph got up and packed their things again and placed St. Mary and the young Child on the donkey and went back to Israel. But as he got close to Judea he found out king Herods son was now king instead of his father.

God Almighty warned Joseph in a dream not to go there and so Joseph took the young Child and His mother into the region of Galilee, to a small town called Nazareth.

This also fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah the prophet who said, He shall be called a Nazarene (Is 40:3). That is why we sometimes call our Lord Jesus of Nazareth.

For the Parents:
Discuss the following points with your children as you read this chapter to them:

  • The prophesies are fulfilled in Christ Jesus
    Explain to the children that in the Old Testament, before the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, there were prophets, chosen men of God, who saw the future through the Holy Spirit and they spoke of what will happen concerning the Messiah, the Christ.

    From the beginning our Lord Jesus Christ was fulfilling the prophecies of the Old Testament.
    - "He was born of a virgin and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which is God with us" (Isaiah 7:14).
    - "He will be born in Bethlehem" (Micah 5:2).
    - "He will be called out of Egypt" (Hosea 11:1).
    - "There will be great mourning for those who died at the hand of king Herod" (Jeremiah 31:15).
    - "He shall be called a Nazarene" (Is 40:3).

    There were many other prophecies that were fulfilled in our Lord Jesus Christ (we will talk about them in later chapters). This is important because it proves that the coming Messiah that the Jewish people were waiting for had already come in the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  • Obedience to God
    We discussed this before in chapter 1, but all throughout our Lord Jesus life, He obeyed the Father in everything He did and we can do nothing less than to obey our heavenly Father also.

    In this chapter we see how Joseph immediately listens to the angel that was sent to him by God. I imagine it would have been much easier on our Lord Jesus Christ to simply send a deadly disease on king Herod than to have to travel by foot from Israel to Egypt.

    But the Son of God never took the easy way out. He wanted the Fathers will to be done and not His own. Our Lord Jesus Christ never placed His own needs over the will of the Father or over the good of humanity.

    So He traveled with His mother and Joseph to and from Egypt, all within a span of 3 years.

  • Discuss Good vs. Evil
    Obeys and does the will of God the FatherNever obeys God and follows his own desires
    Always thinks of others first
    • Always has a kind word for others

    • Always sees how he can help his parents and his friends

    • Always tries his best to be nice to everyone, even those who may be mean to him
    Always thinks of himself first
    • Is never kind to anyone

    • Doesnt help around the house or in school

    • Doesnt say thank you or please and never asks nicely. Instead he will grab the toy he wants right out of another persons hand
    Is willing to suffer for others
    • Will help his friend look for a lost toy

    • Will give his treat to someone who doesnt have any, even though he may really want it

    • Offers to help others with homework, even if it takes him from his favorite TV show
    Will never suffer for anyone but himself
    • He would never give his treats away.

    • He would never share with anyone

    • He would rather be lazy then help others
    Loves God and others
    • He will try to obey all that God asks in the Holy Bible because St. John says that if we love

    • God we will obey His commandments

    • He always has a kind word for others and is gentle with everyone around him
    Loves only himself
    • He will never listen to what is written in the Holy Bible

    • He always argues and yells and screams throws tantrums at his parents

    • He is always mean to others and curses at them and lies and cheats and swears
  • Teach the children to be proud of the heritage of their Coptic Church as was established in Egypt.
    • We can be very proud of the heritage of our Coptic Church that was established in Egypt.
    • Our fathers saw the holy family when they traveled into Upper Egypt.
      - We have the tree of St. Mary that is in bloom all year round
      - The blood of St. Mark saturated our country and watered our faith
    • We have countless martyrs throughout all the ages; even today there are martyrs in Egypt.
    • We have kept the same apostolic faith of the disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ for 2000 years.
    • We started the monastic movement in all the world
    • We are rich in faith, in prayer, in commentaries on Scripture, and in tradition
    • We are a people with a vast history, a strong preset and a hopeful and secure future in our Lord Jesus Christ.

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