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Sharing the insights I discover as I explore and experience the mystery that is our reality. Join me in my journey and share yours.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Dreams that Saved Jesus

I'm rereading the gospel of  Matthew and while I was reading I couldn't help but notice the importance of dreams in the nativity story.  Dreams were the means at which God communicated to those closest to Jesus and the messages they carried had a vital contribution towards saving the infant Jesus from certain peril.

From the very beginning, when Mary learned that she had conceived a child born of the Spirit and Joseph had found out and was considering ways they could quietly divorce God intervened Joseph's plans of separation by means of sending an angel to him through a dream.

Matthew 1: 20-21 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."

The wise men were asked, upon coming across Herod when they were following the star towards Bethlehem, to come back the same way and let Herod know where the newborn King was so that he might go there himself to worship him. Herod's motives were not pure and his real intention was to annihilate any future chance of his position and glory from being threatened. His plan was to kill the infant Jesus.  God thwarted Herod's plans by sending the wise men a dream in which they were warned to return home a different way.

Matthew 2:12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

In the very next verse God uses an angel to appear in a dream to Joseph warning him of the impending danger that he and his family faced and to provide direction in which way they were to flee.

Matthew 2:13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child and mother, and flee to Egypt and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him".

When Herod had died and it was safe to return to Israel God once again used an angel in Joseph's dream to tell him it was safe to go back.

Matthew 2: 19 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, "Rise take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child's life are dead."

 If Joseph had never returned back to Israel with Jesus the storyline of the Bible would be dramatically different. Dreams were a powerful tool God used to communicate to those who had contact with Jesus to ensure his safety during the earliest years of life when he was the most vulnerable. All over scripture one can find all kinds of dreams God used to send to man to warn them, help them, encourage them and direct them. God used dreams as a bridge to communicate to the minds and hearts of His children. God used these particular dreams during Jesus' early years to spare His only son an untimely death and guide, by the mercy and love of His hand, Jesus into just the right places where he needed to be to live out prophecy, providing salvation for mankind.

So that makes me wonder, what do you think about dreams people have today? Do you feel God still communicates to people through dreams? Have you ever felt God was speaking to you or revealing something to you in a dream? If you feel comfortable, please share :)


  1. I always love coming to your site:)

    Yes, I do feel that God communicates with people in dreams and other ways as well.

    The day my mother passed away, I was asleep. As the phone rang, I was answering it while I was still sleeping and already new what the message was going to be. I awoke sitting on the floor next to the bed wondering if it was just a bad dream or if it the phone call had actually happened. When I saw the phone on the floor I new then that it was true. My mother was gone. I was 5 mths pregnant with my first child, my mother's first and only grandchild. In my dream, I knew my mother had died and was told that I would be okay. My mother and I were very close.
    I have had other times in my life that my questions to God have been answered. It is very difficult to put into words my experiences.

  2. Hi! I am not going to "limit" God. God is God, and He can work or communicate in any way He chooses. However, I generally do not think that God speaks through dreams (or other such ways) today. If He does, it is the exception, not the norm. I base this on Scriptures such as Hebrews 1:1 and II Timothy 3:16-17. In times past, God spoke through prophets, dreams, etc...but then Jesus came and God spoke through Jesus. And we also now have the written Word of God...which "thoroughly equips" us. If we have Jesus and are "thoroughly equipped" through the Bible...why would we want to go back to the "old way" or seek more through dreams, visions, prophecies, angels, etc? Jesus is superior to all these things...as emphasized in the book of Hebrews.

    Please know I share this opinion respectfully. It is not "my way or the highway". I have a very creative Christian friend...who feels that God has spoken to her through dreams at times. She is super creative...so maybe God has chosen to communicate with her this way. I am not going to limit God.

    But I think caution is needed...any communication we get "from God" outside of the Bible through a dream or whatever, should be carefully compared to the Bible. It could be from God, but it could also be Satan, or just our emotions, or our sinful nature deluding us. God would never communicate with us something that contradicts the Bible. I place high authority in the Scripture.

    Thanks for letting me share.

  3. Oops, my reference above should be to more than just Hebrews 1:1, but to all the opening verses of chapter 1.

  4. Mary,

    Wow..what a profound and touching experience, thank you so much for sharing. I can't imagine losing my mom...especially when I was pregnant awaiting my first child..that must have been very difficult for you.

    I've met a few Christians that are fervent in saying that God has communicated to them through their dreams. I think that can definitely be true in certain cases...I think one truly knows, whether it's when one is praying, dreaming, worshipping, or just going about their day to day experiences, when God is communicated to them something or using and experience to express one of His truths.

    Thank you for sharing :)

  5. Light...
    Thank you so much for your thoughts and views towards this subject. I think you hit the nail on the head...it is more the exception than the rule. For sure discernment should be used when one feels God has revealed Himself through a dream. I do think it might happen with some and not others...perhaps like speaking in tongues. I have not really had a dream that I could characterize as coming from God per se but I know a couple of people that have dream journals and feel very strongly about it. I definitely think any kind of "word" or "instruction" that one might think he/she receives from a dream, if that word or instruction conflicts with the scripture should be discarded. But if it goes along with Scripture, I don't doubt it if someone claims it..I just haven't personally experienced it myself. I know there's no bounds to God or His love and I think that also means there's no bounds to the infinite ways that He can manifest Himself and His glory to His children.


  6. I don't mind sharing that I believe in angels and God and that we can have a personal relationship with both if we are open and loving and not fearful and filled with hate. This is a blog that my daughter wrote about a recent scare with her youngest. I thank the heavens because I woke up just before she called me. I prayed on the way there and had a feeling that everything would be all right which enabled me to remain calm and help.

  7. Carol...thank you so much for sharing...Your daughter's post was an amazing story...I can't imagine going through what both of you did that night...God is wonderful and merciful that He kept you calm during that time. I honestly am in tears as I just finished reading it. I am such a sap sometimes lol..I usually don't get touched to this extent but when it comes to children I can relate for our children are our most precious blessings.
    Thank you for your comment and I encourage all of those who are reading this to check out that post.

  8. I have always loved this story of how Jesus was saved by these dreams! A few years ago I studied the works of Morton Kelsey and John Sanford (both priests and psychologists) who’ve written books on the subject of dreams from a scriptural standpoint. They helped me realize that indeed God does still speak to us in dreams.

    I’m a firm believer in the validity of dreams to guide us today, and also to show us things to come. Yes, I’ve had prophetic dreams that have shown me events before they happened. I plan to also write future posts on this same subject Jessica, so stay tuned…

  9. Debra..thank you! I have a book by Morton Kelsey regarding Christian Meditation that I got at a tag sale but have yet to read, I wasn't familiar with him and I always have quite the reading list but now you have given me two new authors to check out!

    I look forward to reading your posts about this subject!

  10. Jessica - When people who I haven't thought about for months or years pop in to my dreams I know it's time to say a prayer for them. I do believe in prophetic dreams but I tend more to have a strong intuition about things. I do believe God uses all our faculties to manifest His plans - of course we have to be wise in reading the signs and not look for what we want to 'hear'. Great post, Jessica.

  11. Thanks Corinne for sharing and stopping by. I think God can definitely use dreams in communicating with us people to pray for people.