I am the proud father of three beautiful children. Japheth is the youngest (see the photo above), he is now over 20 weeks old. It is unimaginable to notice that such a little creature is at the center of my life. My father’s heart starts beating faster when he greets me in the morning with a generous smile. Those are priceless moments. If I look at it clinically, it is actually strange that a baby can have such an enormous impact on my life. Japheth cannot do very much yet. He can laugh, cry, fill the diaper, drink and sleep. He is completely dependent on our care. He cannot offer us much, yet he gives us so much. He’s turning my life upside down! Little Lamb The Kingdom of God is often so different from how we think. Last shall be first, you win by losing and God’s power is made visible through the weak. When John sees a scroll with seven seals in a vision in the book of Revelation, there is a powerful angel who calls on creation to break the seals. The scroll represents God’s plan of salvation and the implementation of that plan. At first there appears to be no one worthy to open and inspect the scroll. Johannes is very sad about this. Until he is pointed out to someone who turns out to be worthy, the Lion from the tribe of Judah. I can imagine that in his vision John looks around expectantly to see where the strong Lion is. Instead he sees a lamb. Already a weak creature in itself, but this lamb also looks like it has been slaughtered. That weak creature appears to have won. God’s power becomes visible and God’s plan of salvation can be carried out. The four animals and the elders have seen it and understood it. They bow down in worship before the Lamb (Revelation 5:8). The world turned upside down! Epiphany We are in the period after Christmas and the beginning of a new year. Epiphany is celebrated in some churches. This focuses on the event recorded in Matthew 2: 1-12. In this section you will see that there is a lot to do for a baby born in a small village. Even the heavens are stirred, as a star in the sky urges wise men to embark on a journey in search of a king. If it turns out that they have to be in Judea, they logically go to the capital Jerusalem to look for the new king. There we see three parties, each responding in their own way to the Son of Man who has been born. High Priests and Scribes I’ve always been amazed by this. Herod asks the chief priests and the scribes where the Messiah would be born. Nothing is said about the effort it takes them to solve this issue. They flawlessly manage to recite that He was born in Bethlehem. After all, that is how it is written in the prophet Micah. These people know exactly where the Messiah was born, but they do not go there to worship. Knowledge of the Word is important, but if that doesn’t lead to obedience and worshiping Jesus, it’s nothing more than having a bloated head. I meet many church people who know a lot about the Bible. From conversations I have with them, it sometimes appears that they long for a relationship with God. Knowing a lot about the Bible says nothing about knowing God. Herod He does take the message about the born Messiah seriously. He comes in contrast to the Scribeswell in action. He says he wants to honor the King’s child, but in reality he sees this baby as a threat to his own kingdom. He emphatically opposes it. Surrender to Jesus and his Kingdom is a stark contrast to our kingdom where wecheck seem to have. It is also quite exciting to surrender to a Kingdom where everything seems to go differently and is reversed. The sages As far as I am concerned, these men from the East are rightly called ‘wise men’. With only a little knowledge about the Messiah, they choose to go to Bethelhem to pay tribute to the King’s Child. They give it gifts, but what touches me most is what precedes it. They prostrate themselves before Him! That is the essence of worship. Prostrate yourself before the King, who reveals himself in a baby and at the same time proves to be the Victor. These wise men find deep joy in Him. Offering yourself to King Jesus gives deep joy, because it brings you into your destiny. You were made for the Kingdom of God, destined to be in His presence. Lifestyle I have discovered that if you want the Kingdom of God to become visible in your life, it depends on offering yourself to the King. That’s not just a one-time event, but a lifestyle. What does that mean in concrete terms? This is not just about what you think about King Jesusknow , but that you love Himknows . It requires you to subordinate the familiarity of your own kingdom to the Kingdom of God. Offering your life can be put into action by realizing that everything belongs to Him. He then has the opportunity to direct your life, just as He did with these men from the east (through a dream). Happy new year A nice challenge to think about how I can (again) offer myself to Jesus in my situation. Besides all the good intentions I may have for this year, this is the most important question I can ask myself. That can only be called a happy new year and that changes my lifeReal upside down!