Daily reading: 6 January

King over all the world. 

Something to read

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, magi from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

Matthew 2:1-2 from full reading Matthew 2:1-12

Something to think about

This feast of Epiphany commemorates an event in the story of Jesus that came to have great symbolic meaning.

The word 'Magi' comes from Persia, and was often used of the scholars or sages of the chief religion of the Persian Empire. At the time of Jesus, that empire covered a vast area from western India all the way to Armenia, and so the Magi might have come from anywhere within that area.

This visit of homage by distant foreigners was seen by the church as the first sign - the first revelation to foreigners - of Jesus becoming King over all the world, over every tribe and language and people and nation (Rev. 5:9). The story is written to bring out the contrast with the earthly kingdom of Herod. The search for the one born 'King of the Jews', and the reference to the words from the prophet Micah about ‘a ruler’ whose ‘origins are from eternity’ (Micah 5:2), all point to a divinely royal birth.

These strangers came looking for the Messiah because the Messiah is the Good King; the King who upholds the good and destroys evil; the King who protects the weak and the innocent, and who writes good laws and enacts them; the King who never takes a bribe and never allows evil to prosper; the King who vindicates the righteous and prosecutes the guilty; the King who is gracious. He is the just King of peace. As Dr S M Lockridge says, “That’s my King; do you know him?

Something to do

Watch Dr S M Lockridge: “That’s my King; do you know him?”  

Something to pray

Let us pray that we might know him, and own him, and submit to him; let us be his worthy subjects.

Today’s reading was provided by the Reverend Jeremy Bevan, a minister of the Church in Wales.