Crosspoint Church | Georgetown, TX

Where will you find joy in 2024?

When Did the Three Wise Men (Magi) Visit Baby Jesus?

This coming Saturday (January 6) in the Christian Church Year is the Festival of Epiphany.  It is also the “12th Day of Christmas.”  Epiphany marks the coming of the Magi or Wisemen to worship Jesus and present gifts to him.

The story is amazing in its content and sparks questions of curiosity.

Who were these wise men?

What was the star and did it actually move?

How old was Jesus at the time of the visit?

The Gospel of Matthew records the visit with these words:

2 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi[a] 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; or 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.

I invite you to read up on the details to get your questions answered.  The Magi were probably believers who were descendants of faithful Jews in the Babylonian Captivity (think Daniel).  The star, I believe, was a special star that miraculously guided the Magi.  And Jesus was probably around a year old (simply because Herod orders all babies under 2 years of age to be killed).  However, the detail that catches my attention is this.

“When they saw the star…they were overjoyed.”

“When they saw Jesus…they worshipped.”

The point of the Epiphany story is the reality of God’s promises and the certainty of God’s salvation found in Jesus, the one who’s name and mission is and was to save.  

God was revealing his Son to the world…and the Magi were the first foreign visitors to see Jesus and worship him.

However, they were not the first ones to see Jesus by faith and rejoice in him.  To conclude our look at the first part of Psalm 51, King David prayed (Psalm 51:10-12):

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

The joy of salvation is restored when we see Jesus, our Savior.  The joy of salvation is knowing that the Spirit of God creates in us a new heart and welcomes us into his presence.  He does not cast us away, but welcomes us to find joy and worship him as well.

I pray your 2024 is filled with moments where you find joy in worshiping Jesus, knowing the salvation he came to secure is the salvation he gives to you!

A happy and blessed 2024!

Apply: If you were the Magi, what would bring joy to your heart as you saw Jesus?

Prayer: Lord God, thank you for orchestrating a solution to my sin in the person of your Son Jesus Christ.  May my year be filled with joy and my days be filled with worship for all you are and all you have done. AMEN.

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