Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Festival of the Epiphany of our Lord

Posted on January 6, 2021 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: St. Matthew 2:1-12 (NKJV)
2:1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “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 when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
5 So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:
6 ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.’”
7 Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.”
9 When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
12 Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.
Jesus is King. He is the King of Kings over all nations. And, as such, He brings salvation to the Gentiles.
From the very beginning, Jesus is shown to be the Savior of all mankind, the Savior of the entire world. Wise men from the East, who were Gentiles, would come to see the new King. One of the lessons in the story of these foreigners is that in Jesus Christ the nations actually could have true unity!
The kingdoms of the world, the flesh, and the devil stand in opposition to the Christ and His sacrifice for sin. We see in our reading for the festival of our Lord’s Epiphany that Herod sought to deceive the wise men, but being divinely warned they went home by another way and did not serve his evil purposes. As we enter into the Epiphany season, the earthly kingdoms would have us deceived into thinking Jesus is not the Savior. Or, they persist in the faithless delusion that we can have unity outside of the pure doctrine of Christ. Let us, by the gift of the Spirit, obey our King, the Christ, and find our only hope for salvation and spiritual unity in Him and what He has taught.
Prayer: O God, who by the leading of a star didst manifest Thine Only-Begotten Son to the Gentiles, mercifully grant that we, who know Thee now by faith, may after this life have the fruition of Thy glorious Godhead; through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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