A Three-Point Message

Epiphany Sunday
Scripture: St. Matthew 2:1-12

As we look deeply into the people involved in our text today, we see differences in human responses to news.

First, we see the action of King Herod. From early in his life and his reign, we discover a man with a superstitious mind. He also was a murderer, having killed one of his wives and her mother. He likewise killed others who he saw as a threat to his leadership.

When he heard of the new King, he requested from the chief priests and scribes (the teachers) the birthplace of the new King. They replied, “In Bethlehem of Judea.” He staggered in revenge that this new King will seek his kingship.

Second, we see the actions of the chief priests and scribes when he asked where the new King would be born. There is no reaction at all to the chief priests and scribes.

They are so set in their ways and in keeping things as they were. Actually, they made no action or little response to the news.

There are churches today that are often like these men. They are doing their thing and nothing is gonna disturb them.

Third, we see the arrival of the 3 wise men. They asked where the Child was born and they were told where. When they came to Herod, he asked them to search for the Child and send him word, saying that he also wanted to worship Him.

Tradition says that after two years of searching, the wise men found Jesus and His parents.

Of these 3 scenarios, which of the characters are you most like?

No one would admit that he or she is like King Herod, but I say we often are.

Praise the Lord! No one here has murdered anyone, but you might as well have if you have assassinated and destroyed someone’s character. You might have spread a false comment about this person, something that they did or something that they did not do but should, causing great pain in that individual’s life.

One might be like the priests and scribes who showed no emotion about the birth of Christ even though they knew the historical scriptures about the news of His birth. Maybe you knew the result of someone’s actions and you could have spoken up to protect them, but like the chief priest you keep your mouth shut and don’t want to get involved in anything.

You could have been invited to be involved in a long-range project, but you failed to commit yourself because you do not feel at ease with the time, effort, and energies that may be involved. After all, nearly two years passed in the search for Jesus before the wise men found Him.

If we are honest with ourselves, we are so set in our own ways that we don’t want to change. Some of the things we may say include:

“I don’t like the new type of worship services. I don’t like the music. I don’t like the screen in the front of the sanctuary or the side with the words only. I don’t feel the music when I see nothing but words.”

“I don’t have the time or the energy to look for a lost person. After all it took the wise men nearly 2 years to find Jesus. I don’t have years to waste in looking.”

The church has been on this spot for many years (upwards of 100). Some drive by the church five days a week to school or to work.

“Why should I go look for them surely they know where the church is by now if they want to come.”

Human nature has not changed. The 3 situations mentioned are in our backyard yet today in some form.

Is this the coldness of our hearts and our ability to remember that every human being is created in God’s image and needs to be loved, cared for, and afforded the basic things in life? Are you willing to invest some effort and time to find the Master? After all, He could be right next door to you.

All have been selected to be like the 3 wise men in their commitment and energies, to seek and search until we have a fresh and refreshing new relation with the Lord.

Let us pray.