Today is January 6th- Epiphany, which means Revelation, celebrating the visit of the wise men to Jesus. In Spain it is a public holiday- 3 Kings Day.

 They were in fact astrologers, looking for signs in the stars, and whilst we frequently hear of there being 3 we don’t know this for sure, only that when they visited they brought 3 gifts- Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh.

The Bible- Matthew 2 1-2 has the wise men asking ‘Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We have seen his star as it rose in the East. David Hughes (Rick’s physics tutor at Uni) believes there are many important points.

  • The East (Constellation of Pisces), was the zodiacal sign for the land of Israel
  • What they saw was the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn rising in the east as the sun was setting in the west.
  • Jupiter was the king of the Gods
  • Saturn was justice

What made it more special was that the conjunction happened 3 times that year- it is very rare. Kepler observed it in 1604 and said it happened roughly every 900 years, the last time was in 1981 and  the next will be in about 2238. It also occurred in the year 7BC- the most likely date for the birth of Christ.


The Gifts

We all know what they gave as gifts- and these were significant. Gold- Jesus is King- Lord of the universe and He deserves our worship. Frankincense- for His priestly role. Jesus interceded for us between us and God in heaven. In fact He is God, but God in human form. Myrrh- a strange gift for a child. It is an anointing oil that was used for dead bodies- it symbolised His sacrificial death on the cross.

 

The gifts tell us all we really need to know about Jesus:

  • He is not just a teacher- He is Lord and King
  • He came to earth for us. To save us from our sins, to walk our lives with us. To comfort us in difficult times and to share our joys. Many of our patients know His companionship in the final months of their lives.
  • His death- is the most important event in the whole world. No wonder the crucifixion and the cross is the endearing symbol of Christianity. He broke the power of sin in our lives.

 

Four Gifts

But actually they brought 4 gifts, not 3. They brought themselves.  They came and knelt before the baby Jesus and worshipped Him. We are all at different stages on our journey, some have a faith and others don’t. At the start of the new year, as we make our resolutions, maybe we, too, would want to bring our own lives to Jesus and choose to follow Him. It could be the best new year’s resolution we can make.