Merry Epiphany!

Yesterday was Epiphany, introducing the season of Epiphany that lasts until Lent.  The different Sundays commemorate the “epiphanies” of Christ–that is, the revelations of who Jesus is.  First we mark the coming of the Wise Men (the revelation of Christ to the Gentiles); next Sunday we observe the Baptism of Jesus (when the voice from Heaven proclaimed, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” [Matthew 3:17]); then His first miracle, then His acts of healing, then His acts of sovereignty over nature, culminating in the Transfiguration (when a voice from Heaven again says Him as “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him” (Matthew 17:5).  Then begins Lent, as Jesus goes to the Cross.

See my other posts on this subject:  this and this.

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  • Pete

    Related to the ideas of epiphany/revelation/knowledge/wise men; a family I knew when I was growing up had the custom of exchanging books on epiphany. Anyone else ever come across that one? Nice custom and our family has practiced it, albeit rather sporadically over the years.

  • Mike Westfall

    It is my understanding that in parts of Latin America & the Caribbean, Epiphany is a the main holiday connected to Christmas, and that Christmas day itself is only a minor celebration. Suposedly, the 3 Wise Men take the place of Santa Claus in delivering the gifts to the children.

  • Gene Veith

    Yes, Mike. I believe the thinking is that we non-Jews are Gentiles, so that Epiphany marks the day Jesus was given for us.

  • Steve Martin

    Yes, it was THE big festival day, next to Easter.

    Thank you, Dr. Veith.

  • Dan Kempin

    Here’s a bit of epiphany falderal: How much can the scripture tell us about the Magi?

    How many were there? Were they kings? Did they have camels?

    We cannot get these details from Matthew, but if you believe that epiphany is the fulfillment of Isaiah 60:1-6, then you know where the reference to “kings” and “camels” came from.

    What about the numbers, though? Is it possible that there were EIGHT wise men and SEVEN shepherds who visited the Christ child in Bethlehem? I truly don’t know. How do you read Micah 5:2-5? (especially v. 5) I noticed it for the first time this year, and it makes me wonder.

  • Joe

    My understanding is that some of the Eastern churches hold to 12 Magi.

  • John

    And also to you :-)