If the Lord had Not Revealed His Glory

Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him. Matthew 2:2

The Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Isaiah 60:2-3

What is God doing in the story of the magi? The Father is revealing the glory of his beloved Son to the nations. This is the gospel – the good news – for all of us who are not by birth members of Abraham’s family.

If the Lord had not revealed his glory to the nations, I would still be worshipping stones, statues, spirits or stars.

If the Lord had not revealed his glory to the nations, I would still be looking down my nose at those backward, narrow-minded, anti-social monotheists from Judea.

If the Lord had not revealed his glory to the nations, I would still be trapped in sin, idolatry and ignorance.

If the Lord had not revealed his glory to the nations, I would still be cut off from God’s people, bereft of the joy of the gospel and without a sure foundation for living.

In describing the gospel for the Gentiles, the Apostle Paul writes:

Remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Ephesians 2:12-13

The gospel of Matthew begins with account of the magi, the story of Zoroastrian astrologers drawn by a star to honor the infant Jesus with gold and frankincense. It concludes with Jesus, risen from the dead, commanding his church to make disciples from all the ethne – the nations – the Gentiles – the non-Jewish people groups of the world.

From the beginning to the end, the gospel is the story of the God of Israel drawing the people of the nations to Jesus and his church. If he had not done so, I would be lost.

Epiphany, 2017

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