Bible Insight in 500 Words
Epiphany: Your Light Has Come
Isaiah 60:1-2; Matthew 2:1-12
The story opens with the true King facing the false one, Herod. The story closes when Jesus confronts the world’s greatest king – Caesar, who is represented by his subordinate, Pilate. The Magi, visitors of Herod and the soldiers of Pilate are the only Gentiles in the gospel to call Jesus “King of the Jews” (Matthew 2:2; 27:29).
The Light Has Come
In King Jesus, “your light has come” (Isaiah 60:1). The Magi expose the contest between the light of the true King and the darkness of the false one (Matthew 2:1-2). The problem with being the “bight and morning star” (Revelation 22:6) and the “light of the world” (John 8:12) is that you take the shine (attention) off other kings. Kings don’t like this. The conflict begins.
The Darkness Persists
For a moment, it appears that the light is swallowed up by “thick darkness” (Isaiah 60:2). The scribes who have knowledge of his birthplace (Matthew 2:4-6) do not turn knowledge into action. The darkness in scheming King Herod attempts to deceive the Magi by concealing his evil motive (2:7-8). The darkness grows throughout Matthew’s story. At Jesus’ death “darkness covers the earth” (Isaiah 60:2). Suspended on the cross “from the sixth hour until the ninth hour, darkness came over all the land” (Matthew 27:45).
The Light Prevails
Victory was promised: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5). Victory is realized, “at dawn the first day of the week… An angel of the Lord said, ‘… He is not here; he has risen, just as he said’” (Matt. 28:1-6).
The first twinkle of Easter victory appears as the Magi leave the darkness of Herod’s palace, “and the star they had seen in the East went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was” (Matthew 2:9).
The story moves from palace politics to household worship. The nations of the world, represented by the Magi, enter the house to find the true King, Jesus. The Magi mark the common steps of faith’s journey into the light of Jesus (Matthew 2:9-12).
- We are attracted in joyful anticipation: “When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.”
- We enter a community of believers who show us Jesus: “On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary.”
- We humble ourselves and worship the King: “And they bowed down and worshiped him.”
- We open our hearts and we give him our treasures: “Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts . . .”
- We learn that we cannot return to our old ways: “And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod.”
- We embark on a new path: “They returned to their country by another route.”
Jesus has a right to interrupt your life.
He is Lord.
When you accepted Him as Lord,
you gave Him the right to
help Himself to your life
anytime He wants.