Today, January 6th, is the first day of the Season of Epiphany. What is an epiphany? Let me explain by telling a story about Archimedes, the mathematician who lived in ancient Greece. Legend has it that one day while he was taking a bath, he discovered the principle of buoyancy — he observed that the more he stepped into his bathtub, the more water his body displaced. At this discovery, it is said that he ran down his street naked shouting “Eureka! You could say that he had an epiphany.
An epiphany is moment of clear understanding, a sudden jolt of insight, a moment of seeing something that wasn’t apparent before. If I say that I’ve had an epiphany (something that doesn’t happen very often), it means that I’ve come to see or understand something that was not previously apparent to me.
The season of Epiphany helps us come to a clearer understanding of Who Jesus is.
It is marked by several events: the visit of the Wise Men (or the Magi) who brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, representing royalty, deity and death; all of which point to Who Jesus was/is and what He came to do. It also marks the baptism of Jesus, during which God said that He was His beloved Son. Then there is the wedding feast at Cana. Here Jesus turned water into wine, and not just any old plonk, but the very best of the very best.
All of these events tell us that God has for us in Jesus is the fullest riches of His blessings. In Epiphany we catch a glimpse of the uniqueness of Christ — that He is no mere teacher/prophet but is the Son of God, the Messiah.
C. S. Lewis made this clear in his book Mere Christianity:
This is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronising nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. (Mere Christianity)
Epiphany gives us the opportunity to have a fresh revelation of Who Jesus is. And it is my prayer for you that you would come to a fuller understanding of the love that God has for you. His love is so great it is beyond our comprehension, for why He sacrificed His only Son for us is something that we will never fully understand. We can only believe in faith that what He did was for us, and for that sacrifice, we must be grateful, for His gift to us was all of grace and nothing but grace. May your season of Epiphany be blessed with the knowledge of God’s love for you.