We Three Kings Of Orient Are
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The Epiphany – The Appearing Of The Christ Child To The Wise Men – “They All Didn’t Show Up At The Same Time.”
The revealing of Christ to the Gentiles, as in the persons of the Maji at Bethlehem; also called twelfth night. Observed on January 6th. Webster New World Dictionary Of The American Language College Edition, Copyright 1964 and 1953 to 1964. (consider the twelve days of Christmas)
The twelve days of Christmas in the song are the twelve days between the birth of Christ (Christmas, December 25) and the coming of the Magi (Epiphany, January 6) http://www.12days.com/faq.htm
Epiphany Scripture. Matthew 2:11 New King James Version (NKJV)
11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Scripture tells of the birth of Christ, the infant, with the shepherds being present. (Luke 2: 1-20). Scripture also tells of Christ, the young child, with wise men being present (Matthew 2:1-12). So, we see that, “they all didn’t show up at the same time.” Scripture also tells us that the Christ will be “God with us.” (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25), and will be “Mighty God.,” (Isaiah 9:6). The story of the Epiphany may be new to some believers but, nevertheless, it is good for all who know Jesus as Lord and Savior to be aware of the information.
Isaiah 7:14 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Immanuel Prophecy
14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
Isaiah 9:1-6 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Government of the Promised Son
“For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Matthew 1:18-25 New King James Version (NKJV)
Christ Born of Mary
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” 22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, 25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.
Luke 2:1-20 New King James Version (NKJV)
Christ Born of Mary
2 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.
4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Glory in the Highest
8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.
Matthew 2:1-12 New King James Version (NKJV)
Wise Men from the East
2 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”
3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
5 So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:
6 ‘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.’”
7 Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.”
9 When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
12 Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.
Consider. The wise men may have traveled for a period of two years (Matthew 2:16).
Matthew 2:16 New King James Version (NKJV)
Massacre of the Innocents
16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men.
Consider. The wise men followed a star that led them to the Christ child (John 1:9: “That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.”).
Conside. After the wise men “came to Jesus,” they departed…another way.” (Matthew 2:12).
Question. After you were led to Christ, did you return…”another way?”
Christ was first made known to the Jews. Then, he was made known to the Gentiles. There are differences of opinion as to when those things happened. But, please! Don’t carry this battle of ideas out into the world of unbelievers; they have more serious things to think about, such as coming to belief in Christ as their Lord and Savior (John 3:18: ““He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”)
Consider the following information that has been written on Epiphany.
January 6, 2017 in the World
Epiphany is a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ. It falls on January 6 or, in many countries, on the Sunday that falls between January 2 and January 8. Since the Julian Calendar, which is followed by some Eastern Churches, is at present 13 days behind the Gregorian Calendar and the revised Julian Calendar, 6 January in that calendar corresponds at present to 19 January in what is the official civil calendar in most countries.
On this feast, Western Christians commemorate principally the visitation of the Biblical Magi to the Baby Jesus, i.e., his manifestation to the Gentiles. Eastern Christians commemorate the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, seen as his manifestation to the world as the Son of God. It is also called Theophany, especially by Eastern Christians. In both traditions, the essence of the feast is the same: the manifestation of Christ to the world (whether as an infant or in the Jordan), and the Mystery of the Incarnation.
In Christian tradition, the Magi, also referred to as the (Three) Wise Men, (Three) Kings, or Kings from the East, are a group of distinguished foreigners who are said to have visited Jesus after his birth, bearing gifts of gold, myrrh and frankincense. They are regular figures in traditional accounts of the nativity and in celebrations of Christmas. Magi is a term derived from Greek meaning a priest of Zoroaster. (From: Wikipedia, License: CCA-SA)
Epiphany is one of the oldest Christian feasts. It was celebrated since the end of the second century, before the Christmas holiday was established. It is commonly known as Twelfth Night, Twelfth Day, or the Feast of Epiphany. It means “manifestation” or “showing forth”. It is also called Theophany (“manifestation of God”), especially by Eastern Christians. Epiphany also refers to the church season that follows the day.
It commemorates the first two occasions on which Jesus’ divinity, according to Christian belief, was manifested: when the three kings visited infant Jesus in Bethlehem, and when John the Baptist baptized him in the River Jordan. The Roman Catholic and Protestant churches emphasize the visit of the Magi when they celebrate the Epiphany. The Eastern Orthodox churches focus on Jesus’ baptism.
My thought on the meaning of Epiphany. It is “the appearing” of the Christ Child to the Maji, who were Gentiles. The initial appearing of Christ, “the infant,” was to the Shepherds, who were Jews. The Maji found the Christ Child in a house. The Shepherds found “Christ, the infant,” in a cave. There were approximately two years time passage from when the Shepherds saw “Christ, the infant,” until when the Maji saw, “Christ, the child.”
My thoughts on the video. The video is very good. The story that is laid out in it shows a good chronology of events that led up to the arrival of the wise men at the “house” where Jesus and Mary (Matthew 2:11) were mentioned in scripture (Consider all of the people who may have traveled with the wise men). I think that the video clearly shows, as it relates to the Shepherds and Maji, “they all didn’t show up at the same time.” In no scenes were the shepherds and Maji present at the same time. Neither the shepherds, nor the Maji, knew where to go to find Christ, nor that they were even, “supposed to go.” They were led by God’s Holy Spirit, in every aspect of their journey. In today’s world, neither do we know the way to Christ, nor that we are even, “supposed to go.” We are led by the Spirit of God, in every aspect of our Journey. (John 1:9; John 6:44). Without the prompting of the Holy Spirit, we don’t even know that we need Christ (1 Cor 1:18; 1 Cor 2:14). Without the work of the Holy Spirit, we will not spend eternity with Christ (John 3:3; John 3:8).
Consider the definition of Epiphany, per the Merriam Webster Dictionary.
Definition of epiphany
capitalized : January 6 observed as a church festival in commemoration of the coming of the Magi as the first manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles or in the Eastern Church in commemoration of the baptism of Christ
: an appearance or manifestation especially of a divine being
a (1) : a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something (2) : an intuitive grasp of reality through something (as an event) usually simple and striking (3) : an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure
b : a revealing scene or moment
“We Three Kings”, also known as “We Three Kings of Orient Are” or “The Quest of the Magi”, is a Christmas carol written by Reverend John Henry Hopkins, Jr., who wrote both the lyrics and the music as part of a Christmas pageant for the General Theological Seminary in New York City. It is suggested to have been written in 1857 but did not appear in print until his Carols, Hymns and Song in 1863. Hopkins composed the song in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, where he was a pastor at Christ Episcopal Church (which still stands at the corner of Fourth and Mulberry Streets).