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Jesus Revealed to You

Matthew 2:1-12

Rev. John F. Wurst

The Epiphany of our Lord
The Lutheran Church of Christ the King  
Duluth, Minnesota

Sun, Jan 6, 2013 

"For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified." (1 Cor. 2:2)

Matthew 2:1-12

The Epiphany of our Lord

In the Name of the Father and + of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Turn off your phones. Put away your checkbooks. Cast aside your agenda for today. Clear your mind and empty yourself of all your gods. Hear the Word of The Lord.

Today, Christendom celebrates the Epiphany of our Lord. Epiphany means to make known, manifest, or reveal God. Today, the Father reveals His Son, Jesus, to the Magi or men from the East. These men represented the Gentiles and all other people outside the Nation of Israel.

The first time these men saw the Star, God brought the men first to Jerusalem where they encountered King Herod. They inquire of the reigning king about the location of the King of the Jews. They report that they have come to worship Him.

King Herod had to be infuriated. These men sojourn into his kingdom and they don't pay him homage? Gifts? Where are my gifts? They don't even ask for lodging, food, or a bath. The men from the East just inquire of the location of the King of the Jews.

Herod was troubled. He inquired of his servants concerning the birth of the Christ. The Scriptures were read. The prophet Micah writes:

"But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,

are not the least among the rulers of Judah;

For out of you shall come a Ruler

Who will shepherd My people Israel."

(Micah 5:2)

Now, after hearing the Word of God, the Star takes the men to Jesus in Bethlehem. It is by the Word of God that man is brought to the knowledge of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. You cannot find Jesus, or God for that matter, in the stars, the sun, the woods, the fields, the lakes, your bedroom, or even on your John Deere tractor.  Jesus is only found in the Word and Sacraments.

When Herod heard the Word written by the prophet Micah, he appears to have good will in his heart. He appears to want to go and worship the Christ Child too. The devil works by twisting the Word of God and clouding the "eyes of faith", that is your ears, with his lies and deceit.

Herod professed his desire to go see and worship the Christ. In reality, he wanted to rid the world of this King of the Jews. How dare this King set up camp in his territory. There isn't enough room for the two of us.

The devil wants you to reject The Lord Jesus too. He doesn't want you coming into this House of Prayer to offer yourselves as gifts to the King of kings and Lord of lords. The devil doesn't want you here worship Jesus because that means your not worshiping him. The devil doesn't want you here hearing Law and Gospel doctrine. He doesn't want you submitting to The Lord above all things. The devil wants your loyalty, sacrifices, and worship. Reject him. He is a liar. Repent.

After the men from the East heard the Word of God, they saw the Star and departed for Bethlehem. When they arrived, they fell down and worshiped Jesus. They ignored the mooing, oinking, and all the other noises. They tuned out the ooing and ahing as people beheld the glory of the Son of God. What these men from the East did was empty themselves of all worldly attractions, fell on their faces, and worshiped The Lord Jesus.

They submitted their lives to the newborn King. They gave their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Fine gifts indeed. However, there was nothing finer than the sinners who bowed their knee in the presence of The Lord God of Israel, made flesh to save all mankind from sin, death, and the power of the devil.

It's the same for you today. You are called by the Gospel through the power of the Holy Spirit to come and see Jesus. You are to leave all your worldly desires outside this House. You come into this holy place broken and empty and here is where you hear Jesus. Here is where Jesus binds up your wounds and forgives your sins. Here is where Jesus takes the wretched and broken sinner and cleanses all your iniquity and makes you holy.

You may not always be fully aware of exactly what is happening in the Service. You may not know what every passage means. You may not always pay attention during the sermon. You might not plan your gifts but just reach into your pocket and pull out a dollar when the plate goes by. You may sometimes doubt, be angry, sad, lonely, lustful, tired, or frustrated. But the Lord provides.

Your mother may not have known what she was doing when she brought you to be baptized. But the Lord knew what He was doing. The One who sent the Messiah, sent the star and prodded the wise men along. He does the same for you - whether you fully recognize it or not.

In the Name of the Father and + of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

The peace of God which surpasses all understanding guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Amen.

+ SDG +



(C) Rev. John F. Wurst



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