The celebration of Epiphany begins today. The celebration lasts until February 23. It celebrates the coronation of Jesus as King on earth.
A difference in days
The Roman Catholic Church and most Anglican churches celebrate this event on the date of the visit of the magi, Jan. 6. Because the magi ask, “Where is he born King of the Jews,” this occasion celebrates that understanding. However, there is another understanding. Consequently. this understanding celebrates the baptism of Jesus as the declaration of his Kingship.
Declaration or Coronation
There is a difference between declaration and actual coronation. The magi declared him to be born or the hereditary king. But as we know from studying monarchical countries unless a person is coronated, ( even that at times has not been a guarantee) kingship is not established. As a result the Eastern Orthodox understand Jesus’ baptism as his coronation. Why?
Jesus’ baptism and Psalm 2
( Matt. 3:16-17), As Jesus is coming out of the water, the Spirit of God descends, and a voice,( the Father) says,”this is my son, the beloved one, with whom I am pleased .” This is a quote from Psalm 2. It is a psalm of coronation. Every 2nd temple Jew would know this Messianic psalm by heart. It was used at the coronations of their earthy kings. But please note that the Father says the coronation rite. Matthew doesn’t say,” like David says in Psalm 2″. Remember the rite was read. Not here, the Father declares His Son, King. Every Jew present had to a least know what they heard and what it meant whether they accepted it or not. Furthermore, their is a second consideration in Psalm 2.
Psalm 2,( please read the whole psalm) has two focus groups: the cornated king and nations of the world and their rulers. These rulers/ nations are less than happy with the creator God. The vainly plot against, they are angry, they want to break his rule and the rule of his coronated (anointed) Son as King. The psalm is the culmination of the entire narrative of the Old Testament: the creator, Trinitarian God will become King again and establish his kingdom for good.
What lies ahead
Over the next 6 weeks, we will take a quick glimpse of how Jesus established his kingdom. This will lead us to the final weeks of the last battle and beyond. It will be a whirl wind time but my prayer is that it we will become kingdom thinking people: To become Christ like in his Kingdom.