If Luke’s emphasis of Jesus’ birth can be seen through the lens of the “great contrast,” Matthew’s can be viewed in the hunted and heralded Savior. In Matthew, Joseph and Mary co-habit, Joseph names the baby boy (“Yeshua” or Jesus — “Savior”), and then Matthew launches into a deep irony.
Remember, Jesus is Savior, Son of David, Messiah. Matt 2:1: “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem…”. Here we have it all:
Jesus is born in Bethlehem, city of David (his kingship)
But the “king” is King Herod — a first-class creep with one thing on his mind: power.
And those who first recognize Jesus are “magi” — and while the meaning is not clear, most think they are astrologers from the east, and they are gentiles.
The magi worship King Jesus, heralding him as king, and ignore King Herod, which wounds his deep pride.
The retinune around King Herod hunt out Jesus’ location, are tricked, and they take revenge by slaughtering a bunch of babies — the number would not be great, but still, Herod is being Herod and he is power-mongering.
The baby Jesus, unknown to the leaders of Jerusalem, is quietly born in Bethlehem and is destined to be King Messiah.
Joseph and Mary escape by taking Jesus to Egypt.
Jesus, baby king Messiah, is hunted by big king Herod.
Jesus, baby king Messiah, is heralded as king by gentiles in the face of a king who would have no rival.
Jesus is praised by gentiles, for after all, he is not only son of David, but also son of Abraham (father of many nations).
Jesus is no power-mongering king like Herod, but a king with a new form of rule: servanthood to the point of death.
There is no other Jesus: he may be heralded, but he is the heralded king who was hunted. And always will be.