I like the word “Epiphany.” When we suddenly have a good idea pop into our head, we call that an epiphany. When something surprising and very important is suddenly and unexpectedly revealed. An epiphany. That’s what we celebrate when the 4 weeks of Advent are past and the 12 days of Christmas are finished, and we have reached the day of Epiphany – Jesus suddently being revealed as God.
It is true that Jesus was revealed as God to the shepherds, who came to worship Him. But after that night, things probably went back to normal for Mary, Joseph, and their new baby. They knew that Jesus was special, Elizabeth and Zechariah knew that He was special, and I’m sure that some other members of their family also knew, but Jesus’ true identity was still hidden from most of the world.
Fast forward a year or 2 when a group of wise men finally arrived after a long journey and blew His cover. These astronomers and mystics brought gifts fit for a king, to honor Him. To worship Him. It was a solemn occasion. But before they worshipped they were moved to joy. And the word “Joy” doesn’t quite live up to the author’s intent. Matthew 2:10 uses 4 words to prove how excited they were:
In modern American English, I think that means that they were so excited that they got a little nuts!
This is a great way to close out the Christmas season – remembering that Jesus came for everyone. He wasn’t just a miracle baby; He was God among us. He is our ruler and our Shepherd. That is good news!
And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah, are not least among the ruling cities of Judah, for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.
Matthew 2:6 (NLT)