This weekend, for the Second Sunday after the Epiphany, the Gospel lesson is John 1:29-42. Jesus is declared to be the Lamb of God, by John the Baptist. Jesus is declared to be the Son of God, by God the Father. Jesus is declared to be the Messiah, by Andrew the Apostle. These proclamations fit well into the Epiphany season.
Christians all over the world are now in the season of Epiphany. Four vital aspects of the life of Jesus Christ are celebrated: The star guiding the Wise Men to come worship the Christ Child at Bethlehem. The baptism of Jesus by John in the Jordan River. The first miracle of Jesus in turning water into wine at Cana. The transfiguration and shining glory of Jesus on the high mountain.
"Epiphany" means that Jesus, the Light of the world, has appeared amidst the world's darkness to enlighten the people of all nations. That Light brings forgiveness of sins, life and salvation.
First, the Epiphany of Our Lord is the sign that Jesus has come for both the Jews and the Gentiles. He was worshiped by Jewish shepherds and then adored by Gentile Magi. He was announced by both the angels and the star. Gold, frankincense and myrrh are for Jesus as king, priest and prophet.
Second, the Baptism of Our Lord is where we see all three persons of the Holy Trinity. The voice of the Father, the baptism of the Son and the dove of the Holy Spirit. The Father is well pleased with his Son.
Jesus stood in the water of the Jordan River and was baptized to fulfill all righteousness for us. He is the Second Adam. In his obedience, he has come to undo the curse that came because of the first Adam's disobedience in the Garden of Eden. Jesus actively kept the Law perfectly for us and passively allowed Pontius Pilate to crucify him in our place.
Third, the Glory of Our Lord was manifested through his first miracle of changing water into wine at the wedding in Cana. The servants carrying the water jars and the disciples knew that Jesus had turned a large quantity of water into very fine wine. The apostles saw this miracle and believed in him.
Fourth, the Transfiguration of Our Lord happened on the high mountain. Jesus was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. A bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased. Listen to him."
The intent of all four of these Epiphany events is to assure us that the heavens have now been opened to all believers. When the Holy Spirit descends upon us to give us the gift of faith, we know and believe that we are peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Joy be upon us all as we celebrate Jesus the Lamb of God, the Son of God and the Messiah.