Epiphany Sunday Jan 6, 2013
Sermon Title: Now You See...Now You Don’t
Bible Text: Matt 2.1-3; Matt 3:16-17
The Wise Men
When Jesus was born in the village of Bethlehem in Judea, Herod was king. During this time some wise men from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and said, “Where is the child born to be king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” 3 When King Herod heard about this, he was worried, and so was everyone else in Jerusalem. Matthew 2.1-3
16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Matthew 3:16-17
*Definition of Epiphany/East v. West Celebration. Age of Celebration
Epiphany isn’t accomplished via introspection, self-improvement or even astute study. Epiphany is a revelation from God. A God-shown light on something that had been hidden or obscure. The only thing you can do is stand near the Light so that you can see what is unveiled by the Light.
☞Remembering the Epiphany reminds us that we also have been sought out. God has come looking for us through His Word and Sacraments. Through these He has revealed His Son to us personally, so that through faith we know Jesus to be the mighty God, the Savior of the world; and we believe Him to be our God and our Savior. But God condescended to us hence incorporating the willing ones into his Body/Family.
☞The whole of God is now available for every human being who wants him.
- ☞Epiphany as a literary style: moving from ignorance to insight....In a spiritual sense it is moving from human oblivion and denial to Holy transformation
- Epiphanies come in order to display what has been hidden. We are to draw conclusions from the Epiphanies and determine what God is saying to us.... We are then to act accordingly.
- Epiphanies build trust ( reliance upon the nature of...) by demonstrating the Father’s good nature.
- God want us to see His so that we can understand Him & obey Him.
Why Epiphany is difficult: Peter had one re: Jesus and was praised for his insight. As soon as he turned around---- Jesus rebuked him for telling Him that He wouldn’t die. Peter had to understand who Jesus was and what that meant. The Son of Man came to give His life for many. (Matt 16; Mark 8; Luke 4)
*The key that Peter did really “get” it was that Jesus told him that the Father had revealed this to him....What did people do with that revelation?
Once you try to see Jesus for your own purposes........he’ll shake you. Herod didn’t find Him. (Matt 16:13-24) [NOW YOU SEE ME, NOW YOU DON’T!]
...It’s why Herod couldn’t find him...
☞ Epiphany came with a cost! It comes with a cost. It’s worth every expense!!
Hagar: I see the God who sees me Gen 16:13-15
Challenge: Ask God for the Epiphany that will put your life and soul on track with His greater good.
Call to the table: We celebrate what they didn’t at the first passover. We are sought after...We are seen...Hence no longer invisible.