Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Carthage, Missouri

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Sermon Audio — January 21, 2018

Epiphany and You

Matthew 2:11 “And going into the house, [the wise men] saw the child with Mary his mother, and they
fell down and worshiped him.”

“Wise men from the east” Matthew tells us, “wise men from the east came to Jerusalem saying, ‘Where is
he who has been born king of the Jews?”’ What a thing this was. What was going through Herod’s mind
(before the murderous jealousy crept in)? How do ‘wise men’ from the east know to come here and to worship
a king? A star, that’s not much to go on. What was going through the heads of the wise men? Do you think
there was more than three to start off with but only three actually thought they should come? Was there a
whole astronomy group who regularly got together and were amazed to find this star but only one of them was
like, “Hey, this star is signifying the birth of the king of the Jews so we should travel down there to give him
gifts.” Did the other wise men look at each other and say, “Balthasar you’re crazy. We’re not traveling all that
way to give gifts to a baby because you think this new star signifies his birth.” But then Melchior says, “You
know I have some things to get from Tyre. Maybe on our way back we can swing by and get them. Sure I’ll
go.” And of course if Melchior is going, then Casper is going to go too, because they are best buds. And so
you have three wise men setting out to find a child guided by a star.

We don’t know how it happened because we are not told, but it almost certainly did not happen the way I
just described. (Please don’t make that movie.) In the context of the other events surrounding Jesus’ birth, it
would almost be normal for an angel to have appeared to them in a dream to tell them to go and worship the
new born king. Jesus’ birth was a one-time deal. It is not something that will ever happen again in the history
of the world. Perhaps God let the wise men know about it so that they could be a part of this event too.
Because Jesus, king of the Jews, did not come to save just Jews but all people, even wise men from the east
(and you and I here in the west).

Epiphany is about Jesus being made known to the nations, to all people, not just a specific people, the
Jews. For the vast majority of you who are reading this, that means that without Epiphany you don’t get a
Savior. Christmas on its own is the story of a Savior come to save His people, one small nation. But Christmas
followed by Epiphany is the story of a Savior come to the nations, a Savior who has come to you, whoever
you are. Merry Christmas and happy Epiphany!

~Pastor Mehl

Sermon Audio — January 14, 2018

Sermon Audio — January 7, 2018