In his discussion of Matthew 2.13-23 in ‘Matthew for Everyone’ Tom Wright says:
The gospel of Jesus the Messiah was born, then, in a land and at a time of trouble, tension, violence and fear. Banish all thoughts of peaceful Christmas scenes. Before the Prince of Peace had learned to walk and talk he had a price on his head. At the same time, in this passage and several others Matthew insists that we see in Jesus, even when things are at their darkest, the fulfilment of scripture. This is how Israel’s redeemer was to appear; this is how God would set about liberating his people, and bringing justice to the whole world. No point in arriving in comfort, when the world is in misery; no point in having an easy life, when the world suffers violence and injustice! If he is to be Emmanuel, God-with-us, he must be with us where the pain is. That’s what this chapter is about.