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Summary: A sermon for the Epiphany of Our Lord

Epiphany of our Lord

Matthew 2:1-12

The Gifts

2:1* ¶ Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying,

2* “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him.”

3* When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him;

4* and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.

5* They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it is written by the prophet:

6* ‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will govern my people Israel.’”

7* Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star appeared;

8* and he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.”

9* When they had heard the king they went their way; and lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was.

10* When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy;

11* and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.

12* And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

Grace and peace to you from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the Christ child. Amen

We are now entering .the Epiphany season of the church. That is a s strange word for most of us. It is the season of the church.year that follows the Christmas

season. The Day of the .Epiphany is the day that the wise.. men brought their gifts to the baby Jesus. We have in our modern-time combined the events of Christmas and Epiphany together. But in the Christmas story in Matthew’s gospel the wise men came after the Christmas night. They came 12 days after the birth of the’ baby .

The whole Epiphany season tel1s us of the events of Jesus before his ministry starts. In this season we are told of his journey to the temple where he frightened his mother by staying away so long and not coming home with the rest of the family. We are told of the baptism . of the man Jesus by John in the river Jordan. ’The rest of the Sundays of the Epiphany tells of the-miracles and glories power .that Jesus brought to earth to heal and restore mankind.

So the Epiphany’ season starts where the birth of Christ ends and continues his life after that. As we know the story of the wise men it is significant that even at this young age, Jesus .was already despised by one man namely Herod.. We know the wise men went to Herod first looking for the king of the Jews. Herod called together all the scribes and high priest to find out what these men from ,the east were ’talking about. The scribes quoted a verse from Micah 5:2 stating that a king would be born. We know that Herod asked the wise men to return to him after they had found )he baby so that he could come and worship him. We know that’ Herod was not telling the truth. He really wanted to kill the babe. For Herod was a very not very trusting of a person and didn’t want anyone to take over his throne. He was so jealous that he even had his wife, his mother in law and all 5 of his sons killed so that he wouldn’t have to worry about loosing the throne. We know that the wise men didn’t return to Herod but went home another way.

We also know that Herod became so angry that he killed all the male babes Bethlehem under the age of 1 so that he might kill the king of the Jews, Jesus. We know that

God told Joseph,to go to Egypt so that they wouldn’t have any trouble.

But back to the wise men. These were men that studied the stars and were. very religious men. They knew the scriptures and had read about a savior that was to be born. They wanted to come ,and worship him, in reverence and humility. They wanted to give glory to the son of God here on earth so they brought gifts befitting a king. They brought gifts to praise and glorify the king of the world. We know that the Wise men thought of Jesus as something special because the text says they worshiped him. They came in reverence to someone whom they knew was mightier and more powerful that they were. The wise men didn’t know what kind of ruler Jesus would be, but they knew that He wass a ruler. We know that Jesus ruled with love instead of power or force. That He came to earth not as an earthly king but as a king to save all men

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