January 6, 2013

Epiphany (January 6, 2013)

Our Guides to the King

In Matthew's account of their journey to "the newborn king of the Jews," the magi received guidance from at least three sources.

(1) People.  The magi, while uncertain to us how many they were, did the search together.  They were there with and for one another searching.  Then, there were Herod, "the chief priests and the scribes of the people."  In the case of Herod, he meant harm to the child Jesus, who he considered a threat to his thone.  Yet, even Herod and his evil plot, in God's providence, become helpful for the magi on their search.

(2) Events of life:  The magi must not have been the only people who saw the star.  It is most likely that the magi were well-learned men.  But, there must be other scholars at that time also.  Yet, they were the only people who recognized its significance.  They were seeking for the Truth.  They seemed to know that there was something more than what human knowledge could provide.  Therefore, "they were overjoyed at seeing the star."

(3) Scripture: The words of the prophets pinpoint the location of the Messiah's birth.  It is puzzling, however, that Matthew gives no indication of whether the chief priest and the scribes went to Bethlehm and paid homage to the Child or not.  They were familiar with the Scripture.  But why didn't they recognize its fulfilment?  In contrast, the magi, as Gentiles, received and understood God's words.  Was it because they were more open and eager? Was it because they recognize that their lives would be unfulfilled until they have encountered the One promised by Scripture?  Scripture speaks to us only when we acknowledges who it is that speaks to us through the words of Scriptures.

May we be open to God who draws us to Him with the guides He has already provided for us.

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