In the world-wide community of the Christian Church, January 6 is known as Epiphany Day, and marks the visit of the Magi to the Christ Child! The word “Epiphany” means “revelation” and indeed many things are “revealed” in their visit!
There are several traditions which have come to us from past centuries regarding the Wise Men. One unreliable but nevertheless interesting tradition gives the three names: Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthasar! Another insists that the Magi represented the white race, the yellow race, and the black race. But we do know this: they were following the Star, for after arriving in Jerusalem they ask, “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” (Matthew 2:2).
The Magi were either of Persian or Babylonian descent. Both of these cultures were steeped in the tradition of studying the movement of stars and planets and the meaning of such, much like astrologers of today. They felt that a momentous event was about to take place in the land of Israel. That is why they came.
They did find the Christ child! Matthew 2:11 records their visit to Jesus in these words:
11 And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
Note that their visit to the Christ Child did not take place at the manger, but in “the house.” The assumption is that by the time they started their journey and arrived in Jerusalem, and presented their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to Jesus, two years may have passed!
Their visit is remarkable. It is an “Epiphany.” For in this history we see that the Christ came not just for one nation or people, but for all.
Epiphany lasts for several weeks and comes to an end on Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. From that point on, another “revelation” comes to us as we see Jesus heading toward His destiny on Calvary’s cross.