The Flight to Egypt
(Matthew 2:1-23)


  1. The children are invited to the front to hear the story of Mary and Joseph's flight to Egypt.
  2. The story is read in three parts, pausing after each for a discussion of its meaning.




Teaching Notes



Jesus was born in Bethlehem, in Judea, in the days when Herod was king of the province.

After his birth wise men came from the east, making for Jerusalem and enquiring as they went, "Where is the child born to be king of the Jews? For we saw his star in the east and we have come to worship him."

When King Herod heard about this he was deeply worried. He invited the wise men to meet him privately. He told them, "When you have found this little child report back to me, so that I may go and worship him too."


After they had gone the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Get up now, take the little child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you. For Herod means to seek out the child and kill him."

So Joseph got up, and taking the child and his mother with him set off for Egypt that same night, where he remained until Herod's death.

When Herod saw that he had been fooled by the wise men he was furiously angry. He issued orders for the execution of all male children of two years and under in Bethlehem and the surrounding district - basing his calculation on his careful questioning of the wise men.


But after Herod's death an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, "Now get up and take the infant and his mother with you and go into the land of Israel. For those who sought the child's life are dead."

So Joseph got up and took the little child and his mother with him and journeyed towards the land of Israel. But when he heard the Archelaus was now reigning as king in Judea in the place of his father Herod, he was afraid to enter the country. Then he received warning in a dream to turn aside into the district of Galilee and came to live in a small town called Nazareth."

[These readings are adapted from J. B. Phillips's translation of Matthew 2: 1-8, 13-16 & 19-23, taken from "The New Testament in Modern English", Revised Edition, 1958, 1960, 1972]

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