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Matthew 2:1-12 (NIV)
The Magi Visit the Messiah
2 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: 6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’” 7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” 9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
January 6 is celebrated as the Festival of Epiphany – the 12th day of Christmas. In some countries (like Ethiopia) this day is bigger than Christmas. It is the traditional day for reflecting on the visit of the wise men (or “Magi”) to worship the infant Jesus. The number of Magi is not specified, but is represented in Christ art as three men, because of the three gifts. They are traditionally drawn as being from three different races, and with one young, one middle aged, and one old. In this way, it is shown that Christ is for all nations and all seasons of life. When you are feeling lazy, and thinking it is too inconvenient to come to worship Jesus, remember the example of the wise men, who made long journeys under difficult conditions, in order to worship Christ. Note also their joy in v. 10. Pray that the Holy Spirit guides you into the joy of true worship