Epiphany-a Sign of Glory

The early life of Jesus of Nazareth is largely a mystery.  After the return of His family to Nazareth after their flight to Egypt while He was a toddler, and one instance at age 12, pretty much nothing is known about Him until His ministry came of age.  Even then, His hour had not yet come.

John 2:1 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”

4 “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”

5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.

7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. 8 Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, 9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. (John 2:1-11)

It’s stories like this one in the Bible that I always find hard…because they prompt a whole lot of questions for me.  Random things like, had Jesus spent His childhood practicing miracles like some kids practice magic tricks or skipping stones?  Or did He never do one until waking up one day at age 30 with the Father telling Him it was time to do them now?  How did Jesus’ mother know to ask Him to help (if His childhood/young adulthood had been completely uneventful)?  Why, in the only command she issues in the entire Bible, does she tell the servants to do what He says?  If He’d been a regular guy, maybe she was thinking He’d send the servants out to buy some and it had nothing to do with the miraculous…but I always wonder.  Are we to believe that throughout His entire childhood, Mary never once told Him the story of the Nativity, as if she kept that from Him like some parents keep the adoption of their children secret?  How is it possible that Jesus could have had an intimate spiritual relationship with the Father from infancy and yet been a completely average child?  How exactly did changing water into wine reveal His glory?  Was this really all it took for His disciples to believe in Him or was it a tipping point?

Come’on, Barb, you say.  Aren’t those questions stupid like how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?  Not really.  Far from frivolous questions, every one of them points to the hard question of how Jesus could be both fully man and fully God at the same time in the same person.  It’s hard to make sense of these things.

But we’re told “What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in Him (John 2: 11). 

Epiphany…manifestation, revelation.  No one said it would be easy to understand. It’s a call to faith and a sign of His glory.

Today’s prayer thought: So much in our modern culture doesn’t make sense and it’s passages like this “first of the signs” that remind us epiphany often produces more questions than answers.  It drives us to prayer for understanding.

Father God, we’re living in confusing times.  I don’t know what to make of it all.  I look for Your working in our world and in our times.  Might each of us pray, Lord, I do trust You! I trust that Your will is being done even in the midst of our confusion. I trust that You work all things together for the good of those who love You and are called according to Your purpose, just as Your Word proclaims! I trust that Your ways are not my ways and Your thoughts are far higher than my thoughts. I repent, Lord, of any secret sins, of any thoughts I have of knowing more than I really do, of judgments upon my fellow man that I make in ignorance, and I ask Lord that You would redeem the days in my life by way of faithfulness to pursuing the call that You have placed on me for Your purposes.  I pray that I would be patient and hold fast to my faith in You.  Use my faith, Lord, to produce fruit … abundant fruit … for Your glory. Thank You, Father, that Jesus revealed You to us and that His work is and was complete.  We ask Lord that Jesus would return soon to put an end to the questions by His coming and that we might have tears wiped from our eyes as we begin to see the answers that You alone have today.  May we be comforted by our faith, encouraged in our hope, and stand ready to offer the Gospel in these times that “try men’s souls” (Paine).  We praise You, Lord Jesus, in Your Name we pray. Amen.

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on January 10, 2021

Social Networks: RSS Facebook Twitter Google del.icio.us Stumble Upon Digg Reddit

Leave a Reply