This Saturday, January 6 is a day Christians throughout the world know as Epiphany. Epiphany is a celebration commemorating the visit of the magi (or wise men). Matthew's Gospel records the event in chapter 2 verses 1 through 11. Essentially, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem looking for the new born King of the Jews. They had seen His star appear and had come to worship the King. As Jerusalem was the home of King Herod, the wise men made their journey to the great city. However, on arriving, the wise men found only puzzled looks as they asked about the new King. Word of the search reached the ears of King Herod, who was disturbed by the news. He summoned the chief priests and scribes to learn of the location of the birth of Israel's messiah (promised King). Bethlehem was the answer. So, King Herod sent the wise men to Bethlehem to search for the boy with the understanding that they would return to him with the location of the child. The wise men set off for Bethlehem and found the Christ child. They presented Him with costly gifts and worshiped Him. Having been warned not to return to Herod through a dream, the wise men returned to their home country by another route.
As I studied this text, a number of points jumped off the page. I'd like to share one of those points here. In this passage we see three reactions to the birth of Christ. We see the first reaction from King Herod. He reacted to the news with anger. He was deeply troubled by the news of the Christ. The second reaction is that of indifference demonstrated by the chief priests and scribes. Though they knew of the prophecies concerning the Christ, they showed no interest in finding the child themselves. The third reaction is that of worship demonstrated by the wise men.
Everyone everywhere will essentially respond to Christ in one of these same three ways. Some are indignant and angry...perhaps even rebellious. They don't wish to serve the Christ. Instead, they actively work against Christ and those that belong to Him. Others are indifferent. They don't mind Jesus, but they don't really have time to worry about Him. Still others will worship the Christ. These worshipers behold their King and worship Him as God.
So, the question is: which response is yours? Are you hostile to the notion of God? Are you indifferent - preferring to keep the status quo? Or, are you willing to behold Jesus as God and serve Him as the King He is? I pray you'll consider the third option. Jesus is the King...the Son of God regardless of how we view Him. I prefer to be on the right side of history and will worship Him as Lord. If you'd like to worship Jesus, too, I'd invite you to connect with us via this web-site. Here's to a blessed New Year and a great Epiphany celebration!