Epiphany Sunday – January 6, 2019
Let’s listen closely for God’s word to us in this Bible passage.
Matthew 2:1-12 (NIV): “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.’ 3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 ‘In Bethlehem in Judea,’ they replied, ‘for this is what the prophet has written: 6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’” 7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, ‘Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.’ 9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.”
Our verse for today is Matthew, chapter 2, verse 11, “On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.”
Let’s think about what this means.
God put a special star in the sky two years before Jesus was born.
The star was in the part of the sky that was associated with, or made people think of, Israel.
Magi were wise men in a different country who studied the stars carefully every night.
They believed that this star announced that a new king of Israel would be born.
They traveled to Israel’s biggest city, Jerusalem. In the palace, they announced the birth.
They wanted to worship the new king, but Jesus wasn’t there. King Herod was worried.
Herod asked the Bible experts where the Messiah was to be born.
The prophet Micah had prophesied about the place of the Messiah’s birth centuries earlier.
The wise men followed the star to the house in Bethlehem where Jesus, Mary, and Joseph were.
The wise men were overjoyed! They bowed down, worshiped Jesus, and offered him presents.
They gave him gold (money), frankincense (to worship God), and myrrh (fancy ointment).
God gave the wise men a warning in a dream, so they took a different road home.
Conversation: What stood out for you in this passage? Why did it draw your attention?
Let’s pray. Dear God: Thank you for leading the wise men through nature, prophesy, and dreaming in their search to worship Jesus. We are overjoyed that Jesus is our king! Please help us to be generous like the wise men who honored you with their gifts. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Verses Marked NIV are from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.