Summary: Everyone is or was searching. Jesus was revealed to the world trhough the Magi. They had their Epiphany and realized who he was and worshiped him, Have you?
Have You Had Your Epiphany?
By: Pastor Clinton Browning
Matthew 2: 1 – 12
During week 3 of Advent we discussed the Magi and their following of a star to meet and worship the new King. We spoke of the fact that these Magi / Wisemen were:
• Not locals,
• They did not speak the language and
• They probably were not brought up in the Jewish faith.
However, they through whatever means knew the prophecies and saw the signs. They did not cross the miles of harsh terrain to meet a new king and bring a gift in hope of favor with the new leader. They came in search of the king of the Jews in order to Worship him. They did not bring the typical gifts a new baby would receive or even the typical gifts one king might bring another. They brought Gold the gift of kings, Frankincense the gift of the High Priest, and Myrrh the gift for those about to die to honor the sacrifice that the Magi saw.
Remember these Non-Christian, Non-Believers had their EPIPHANY and saw that this was not only a king of the Jews but of the Gentiles as well. This is what January 6th celebrates by the Sunday of Epiphany.
1capitalized : January 6 observed as a church festival in commemoration of the coming of the Magi as the first manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles or in the Eastern Church in commemoration of the baptism of Christ2: an appearance or manifestation especially of a divine being3 a (1): a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something (2): an intuitive grasp of reality through something (as an event) usually simple and striking (3): an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure b: a revealing scene or moment
Have you heard the classic short story by O’Henry, "The Gift of the Magi?"
The story is about a young married couple who are very much in love. Christmas is approaching and neither one has enough money to buy the other a Christmas gift. Each one does have one prized possession that they hold dear to themselves. Something they treasure very much -Della, the wife, has beautiful waist length long hair. - Jim, the husband, has a beautiful gold pocket watch that belonged to his grandfather.
In her love for her husband, Jim, - Della goes to a wig maker and sells her hair in order to buy for Jim a beautiful extravagant gold chain for his watch.
Jim in the mean time, sells his watch in order to buy Della a beautiful set of combs and hair brushes for her hair.
Each one out of their love for the other sacrifices the one thing they prize the most for the other. Here is the last paragraph in the story:
"The magi, as you know, were wise men - wonderfully wise men - who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all those who give gifts these two were the wisest. Of all who give and receive gifts, such as they are the wisest. Everywhere they are the wisest. They are the magi."
Illustration found on Sermon Central 2008 - SOURCE: Howard McGlamery in "Who Invented The Christmas Present." Citation: "The Gift of the Magi" by O. Henry.
These were the wisest men of their time, what we would to refer as scholars. Incredibility educated. And they were willing to sacrifice their safety, time, money, and honor to worship The King.
How many pageants have we attended, how many Cantatas? Every year church after church puts on pageant after pageant. Members attend because it’s just part of Christmas. But have they let the story go stale do they really believe it?
Many People are searching for the Jesus they heard about.
• They come to churches
• The watch TV preachers
• They read books about Purpose Driven Lives
• They ask questions of those who say they are followers
So what does this have to do with the Magi, Me, and those who are seeking?
I. They were interested in religious findings:
a. They were searching for what they knew according to prophecy was not just the King to the Jews.
i. But Gentiles as well
b. How many times have you heard the proverbial question? ‘What is the meaning of Life?’
c. Why do cult religions take hold so well?