Word for Word 2/5/20

Rev. Ron Pederson
Rev. Ron Pederson

Epiphany

Christmas is over and the church is now in the Epiphany season. Epiphany begins on January 6 and ends the first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday.

But what is Epiphany? The dictionary defines epiphany as “an experience of a sudden and striking realization or insight.

To truly understand Christmas and the baby Jesus, an Epiphany, a realization, an insight is necessary. Jesus is both God and man in one person; and at Christmas His human nature was very apparent, but His divine nature is not so apparent. Who would have ever believed that night, that there lying in the manger is God, the One who created the universe.

When the baby Jesus opened His eyes for the first time and saw the stars above, it was He who created them. No, we need more insight, an epiphany in order to know that Jesus is also “Very God of very God, begotten, not made, Being of one substance with the Father, By Whom all thing were made”.

That is the main purpose of Jesus’ miracles - To show forth His divine nature. - To show that He is more than just a man, that He is also true God. And so during the Epiphany season we might hear about the gentiles, the wise men from the East, and how with the guidance of a star God revealed to them that Jesus is the Son of God. We might also hear in the Gospel readings how His divine nature is revealed at, “The wedding at Cana”, “The boy Jesus at the temple”, “The calming of sea”, and other accounts of Jesus’ miracles.  They give insight, an Epiphany of who the baby Jesus really is, true God.

After the wedding at Cana the Apostle John writes: “This, the beginning of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples believed in him” (John 2:11).

It is important for us to know that Jesus is also true God. We have failed to keep the 10 Commandments. We have sinned in many ways in thought, word and deed. But because Jesus is true God, He kept all the Commandments perfectly, never committed a single sin His entire life. And He offers us His perfect record to claim as our own by faith.

By faith Jesus’ perfect life is credited to us. We are sinners but when we claim Jesus’ perfect life by faith, then God sees us as He sees Jesus, perfect and sinless. 

And in exchange for that, Jesus also took all our sins and the sins of the whole world on Himself. And guilty of our sin God punished Him in our place. All of our sins have been paid for in full, no exceptions.

In Jesus we have the forgiveness of all our sins - Forgiveness that is also ours to claim as a free gift by faith alone Epiphany gives us an epiphany, an insight, an insight to world, gentiles included, that Jesus is true God, and because He is, we have a Savior from sin. 
 
Rev. Ron Pederson
King of Grace Lutheran Church, Waukon
Trinity Lutheran Church, Calmar  

 

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