Summary: God brings us revelation in simplicity to make sense of our lives for our growth in Him.
Personal Epiphany-Your Break-Out Season Is Here
(30) And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
(31) The second is this: ’You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these."
EOLS: God brings us revelation in simplicity to make sense of our lives for our growth in Him.
Today is Epiphany Sunday-which celebrates the day when the Magi found the baby Jesus at the end of their long journey.
Epiphany (from Koine Greek ἐπιφάνεια "appearance", "manifestation") is a Christian feast day which celebrates the revelation of God made Man in the person of Jesus Christ. (Wikipedia).
Western Christians celebrate Epiphany as God’s revelation of Christ to the Gentiles-symbolized in the Magi.
Consider for a moment the Epiphany of the Magi. These gentlemen had studied for their entire lives, and based their study upon their forefathers. They were the intellectual elite of their society. They studied scientific data, religious and philosophical volumes to attempt to bring some sort of an illumination and sense of meaning to their lives. Perhaps their reward would be the acclaim of advancing their society, adding to the accumulated wisdom of the ages.
We don’t know a whole lot about the Magi. It’s tradition that says there were three, because there are three gifts mentioned. Some people believe they were priests and practitioners of Zoroastrianism or some other ancient religion. Personally, I reject that notion and I believe that they were Gentile followers of Jehovah; born into a tradition in Babylon which was planted by the Hebrew Prophet Daniel several hundred years before.
(48) Then the king gave Daniel high honors and many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon.
While they were followers of Jehovah, their information was very incomplete. Perhaps it had been tainted by the influence of other religions or by the infusion of man-made tradition (sounds kind of familiar, doesn’t it?). The one thing for sure is these guys were seekers of truth. They were willing to give all, including the sacrifice their own comfort, safety and well-being to seek the Real, to find the Truth. They gave it all for that true epiphany moment that they may not have really understood that they would find when they set out.
Consider for a moment the gifts that they brought: gold, frankincense and myrrh. We could study each of these and go into their qualities, but the bottom line is they were expensive items, fit for a king. They were rare and precious. Gold we can relate to, but in that day perfume and spices were imported from thousands of miles away in the far East and were so precious they could actually be used in trade as a type of currency. While there may be great spiritual significance in the gifts themselves, I see the practical side as this-Joseph and Mary along with their new baby boy hit the JACK POT! It was a windfall, out of the blue. Overnight they received gifts of wealth that were provided by God months before they were actually manifest.
We know that Joseph and Mary were not rich people. They were likely on the average side, just like us. Do you think it had crossed their minds-just how they would be able to raise this very special child? He would need not just normal provision, but rabbinical schooling which was very expensive. God does not guide where he does not provide! They surely didn’t save those three gifts for family heirlooms-nor did they jack up their lifestyle and blow it all. They moved on with their quiet lives to raise their son, knowing that the Father had provided for all their needs according to His riches in Glory-in Christ Jesus!
So, in this quick look, I see an “epiphany moment” on both sides of this event. Those Magi left to never be the same. They had looked square in the face of God in the Flesh. I can guarantee you it changed them. In that moment, their lives may well have culminated in the joy and peace they had sought and devoted their lives to finding. It was so simple-just a cute little baby boy who by now was several months old. All the data from hundreds of years suddenly made sense. He may have laughed and played with them. The little baby boy changed them.
Mary and Joseph saw God’s miraculous provision, their own epiphany moment. Perhaps they realized in that very moment that even when they were worried sick about how things were going to work out, God’s plan was heading toward Bethlehem. I wonder if they were just “blown away” by that and perhaps it changed their faith to a new and higher level, never to return to the way it was?