Epiphany is the Christian feast that celebrates the Incarnation and in particular the revelation to mankind that God took on human form. It is curious then that in the West we typically associate January 6th with the three wise men. It is true that these men from the East represent man’s discovery of the Messiah, but they weren’t looking for the Son of God. In fact, the Jewish people had been waiting nearly 2000 years for their savior but they were only expecting a great king, prophet, or priest. It is somewhat ironic that the Magi traveled so great a distance on faith yet they failed to see the greatest mystery before their eyes. Simeon and the prophetess Anna also realized that the prophecies were being fulfilled and that the Messiah had been born when they saw Jesus in the temple, but the full revelation was not made known to them.
The word Epiphany is very vague and implies only “manifestation”. In the early Church, particularly in the East, this feast commemorated the Magi, but it also included other events of manifestation such as the Nativity, the Wedding at Cana and, in particular, the Baptism in the Jordan. It is in this last feast that Jesus’ Divinity is revealed.