John 1:14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.’ ”
Have you ever had an epiphany? One of those moments when you have this groundbreaking idea that changes everything?
You may be surprised to know that an epiphany means something entirely different than just any great idea. The term “Epiphany,” literally means an appearance or sudden manifestation of the revelation of Jesus as a “light to the Gentiles”. Jesus’ appearance wasn’t just any appearance but revealed the essential nature of God. When Jesus came into our world the people who witnessed this miracle gained an intuitive grasp of reality through the lens of the incarnation, it was simple but it was striking.
There are epiphany celebrations by Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Anglicans, and other Western churches on January 6. Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate the day as a revelation of God incarnate (in the flesh). In Western Christianity, the feast commemorates principally (but not solely) the visit of the Magi to the Christ Child, and thus Jesus’ physical manifestation to the Gentiles.
If anyone desires to have a new and deeper perspective of life it can only come from the One whose birth was the very essence of revelation–Jesus Christ.
Acts 13:47 “For this is what the Lord has commanded us: ‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, to bring salvation to the ends of the earth.'”
As the Messiah came to reveal God’s promise 2000 years ago, we are called to continue this revelation to the world.
Jesus has called His people to be an epiphany to the World.
The advent of the Messiah on Christmas day was the realization of four thousand years of waiting. The hope of the Messiah was thought to be a future conquering hero but what the people received was far different than anticipated.
What was it about Jesus’ birth that was so shocking?
The way the God of all Creation entered into our world was unheard of. For an earthly king to be born into such poverty and humiliation would be a serious mark upon any kingdom, for the Messiah to be born in such a manner was exactly as had been foretold.
Isaiah 53:3 “He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.”
The suffering servant embodied more than anything we could have imagined. It’s one thing for someone to show humility when they come from a fairly low position, but for Jesus to forsake His heavenly throne, a position He has held forever, it was an act that has no equal.
*The more we understand the majesty of God, the more significant this time in history becomes.
It’s not easy to associate our reality with God’s reality.
A. We think in terms of limits; He has no limits.
B. We were born into sin; Jesus embodied perfection.
C. We were formed from the earth; Jesus came from above
D. We have no honor on our own; God’s alone is good.
What does all this mean for us?
**It is impossible to know God without knowing Jesus.
Jesus exemplified power through humility, grace in the midst of grief, love while suffering sorrow, and sacrifice while being a servant.
The world was so shocked by what they witnessed, it wasn’t until after Jesus’ left could they finally realize His majesty. As evidenced by the thousands who accepted Christ after His ascension, the aftermath of such a moment in history has reverberated throughout time.
The epiphany of the Christ child who was King was declared by the magi, could they have fully known that a new dispensation of grace upon them?
The gifts presented of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, were the gift of Kingship. Gold was a revelation of royalty, the frankincense symbolic of Jesus’ priestly role, and the myrrh for the healing of the nations.
Revelation 19:16 “And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
Forever, there will be no other King than Jesus. He will be exalted before the nations, every knee will bow before Him in honor, and He will be glorified and vindicate His name before a world of sin.
Hebrews 7:17 “For it is testified: “You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.”
Jesus has offered Himself as the final sacrifice for the sins of mankind. To all who received His gift, they have attained eternal life.
Isaiah 53:5 “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.”
The scourge of sin dealt a deadly blow to all of mankind, Jesus has healed the infirmities of all who trust in Him–by the blood He offered for His people.
Jesus conquered death through His death.
One day, all the world will know the majesty of the King of kings. The epiphany of the magi will be realized by all in that day. Every form of human pride that has been raised up against God will be brought low. Every power will be reduced to ashes, every king will acknowledge the true King, and every false god will be rendered obsolete.
Psalm 95:6 “O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.”
We can bow now in humble submission or bow later in humility and shame.
Until that day, the light that is in the world has been made manifest through His people. Our hope is that just as the magi followed the star, those who walk in darkness will see the light of Christ in His people.
Maybe, you can be an epiphany of hope to others.