THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD
I. Reading: Isaiah 60:1-6: Above you the glory of the Lord appears.
II. Reading: Ephesians 3:2-3.5-6: It has now been revealed that pagans share the same inheritance.
Gospel: Matthew 2:1-12: We saw his star and have come to do the king homage.
Jesus’ Acknowledgement as King by Wise Men or Magi:
An Unexpected Worship.
The Feast of the Epiphany we are celebrating today is the oldest feast in the Church after Easter and Pentecost. It has been celebrated long before the Christmas was; it took the place of Christmas many years, since the birth of Jesus was one among the various events remembered on this day by the early church. The word “Epiphany” in Greek means “Manifestation”, that is, the clear appearing of something or of one, unknown to us before.
Today we celebrate the unknown one (JESUS) who has made us known himself to all of us.
The purpose of the Epiphany is: To praise God because Christ has made himself known to people for what he really is: The Son of God and our Saviour.
The wise men (magi) are a picture of those who seek Jesus. As they sought him, events totally unexpected happened time and again. This is usually the case with those who seek Jesus. But God is faithful. If a person truly seeking Jesus, God takes the unexpected events and works them out for good (Rom 8:28). God leads the person to Jesus regardless of circumstances and events, expected or unexpected.
1. The unexpected Saviour: Jesus was born in Bethlehm (v.1)
a. In the days of king Herod
b. Magi came seeking him
2. Their unexpected question: Where is the new born king? (v.2)
a. The unusual journey from the east
b. Their purpose: to worship
3. Their unexpected disturbance (v.3-6)
a. Disturbed all the people in Jerusalem
b. Disturbed Herod: he misconceived a threat
c. Disturbed the religionists
i. Herod quizzed them
ii. They had ignored the Scripture (until now)
4. Their unexpected commission: having to search for the new born king (v.7-8)
a. Their testimony: the star
b. Their commission: to go-search-find
5. Their unexpected sign: the star guided them again (v.9-10)
6. Their unexpected king: a humbled child in humble surroundings (v.11)
a. They found him in a house
b. They gave Jesus worship not to the king Herod neither they obeyed Herod’s command rather they obeyed God’s command
c. They gave him gifts( gold for the kingship of Jesus, incense for the divinity of Jesus and myrrh for the humanity of Jesus)
Our whole life is a continuous Epiphany: Jesus goes on manifesting himself to us at all times.
Thought: God’s ways are not man’s way (1Cor 1:26-31). The newborn king is not a humanistic Saviour. He is God’s Saviour who has come in God’s way (Phil 2:7-8; 2Cor 8:9).