We are grateful that our Presiding Bishop Doug Beacham has alerted us to this important day we should celebrate or commemorate as Christians.
Today is Epiphany. This is the day we commemorate the coming of the Magi to worship the Christ Child. Their visit was the first manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles. Jesus was born to die, and He died on the cross of calvary for the whole world.
When the Magi or Wise Men arrived in Bethlehem, the infant Jesus was no longer in a manager in a cattle stall outside the Inn of Bethlehem, but His parents had moved into a house. At the time of the visit Joseph, the foster father of Jesus, is not mentioned. He may have been working as a carpenter in Bethlehem.
Let me quote the Scripture passage as it is recorded in the Book of Matthew 2: 11-12 concerning the visit of the Magi:
And when they, Magi, came 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.
The Magi or Wise Men from the East did not arrive in Bethlehem until about 2 years after the Birth of Jesus. King Herod had all the children in Bethlehem who were 2 years old and younger killed. However, God intervened and here is how:
Now when they (the Wise Men) had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, "Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him."
14 When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, 15 and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, "Out of Egypt I called My Son."
If you will recall it was the night before the Exodus of the Children of Israel from Egypt, that they sacrificed a lamb and placed the blood of the lamb on the sides and on the top of the doors of their homes. Here is the Scripture for this passover account:
6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the 7 And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat 8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat 9 Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof.
10 And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with 11 And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD's 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the 13 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.
Jesus is the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). Having been taken into Egypt by the parents of Jesus at the command of God, Joseph was directed to bring Jesus, the Lamb of God, out of Egypt after the death of Herod. The holy family then moved to Nazareth where Jesus grew up.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is for the whole world. No one is excluded. We are to proclaim the Gospel to every person living on the face of the earth. It is a mandate given to us in the Great Commission Jesus gave to His disciples:
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.
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