Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the prophet:
‘And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
Are by no means least among the leaders of Judah;
For out of you shall come forth a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.’”
Then Herod secretly called the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him.” After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way.
The Jews are God’s chosen people, and they expected the Messiah to be a Savior for the Jews. They never thought God would give a Savior to anyone who wasn’t one of the chosen. God showed His intentions, though, when he sent the magi (also known as kings or wise men) to worship the baby Jesus. Although there are a lot of traditions about the magi, we really don’t know a lot about who they were or where they came from except “from the east.” But the important thing is who they were not and where they did not come from. They were not Jews, and they did not come from anywhere close to where Jesus was born and lived. Their appearance and worship of the baby manifested (Epiphany means manifestation) to the world that the Messiah, Jesus, was the Savior of the entire world.
Thank You, Lord, that Jesus came into the world to save everyone who believes in Him. We don’t have to be Jews to be saved from our sin. Whether we come from the east or the west, whether we’re kings or wise men or ordinary people, whether we’re rich or poor—if we worship Jesus as Lord and Savior, He is our Savior. We fall down before our Lord and worship. In His name. Amen.
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