January 19, 2019

Discovering Jesus Identity is an Epiphany Moment for All Christians (Epiphany 2)

 The identity of Jesus is the most important issue for Christians. Everyone agrees Jesus was a real historical person. What they do not agree on is whether or not He was the divine son of God, the promised Messiah. Many people who think they are Christians, have not had this Epiphany moment - and have not discovered their spiritual identity.

1. Isaiah 62.1-11 is a prophecy of Israel’s restoration

This is about national identity. They have been punished for their rebellion against God. They have been conquered, taken to captivity in Babylon and their land and nation destroyed.
     People’s name change from Deserted to My Delight
     Land’s name changed from Desolate to Married

2. Jesus revealed His identity at Cana
There is an embarrassing situation. The wine has run out. The new couple would be humiliated if everyone in the community found out about this. It would not be a good way to start a marriage. Mary comes to Jesus and asks Him to do something.
     Tells us Mary knows something secret about Jesus
     Jesus is reluctant to reveal His identity publicly
     He is trying to build a team  without revealing His identity
     He does not want crowds of people.
     He does not want attention from the religious authorities.
     He sacrifices His personal peace and takes a risk.
     This is a sign of His sacrificial love for us.
     Jesus solves the problem without any public sign
     Only we and the servants discover His identity
     Sadly most people in our self-centred culture have been told the story is mythical by teachers who do not really believe in the Jesus of the Bible
     People assume (wrongly) that if they have not seen miracles Jesus could not have done miracles
     We all need an Epiphany moment - an experience the supernatural ourselves before we can believe in miracles

3. Our epiphany moment comes when we discover Jesus identity as divine Saviour
This is the point where we change from believing in the
philosophy of Jesus; to putting our faith in the person of Jesus as God with us.
     This is when we really accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Saviour - as opposed to moral teacher
     If we can believe in the divinity of Jesus then we can believe He could pay for the sins of the whole world
     Belief in the divinity of Jesus is essential to belief in the forgiveness of sins - and being a Christian

4. Gifts of the Spirit help us believe in Jesus divinity
The Good News is believers receive spiritual gifts that help them grow in their faith in Jesus as divine Saviour. These gifts give us personal experiences of the supernatural that open our spiritual eyes so we can understand the Bible and really believe in what it says about Jesus.
     Faith is the first spiritual gift
     Wisdom and knowledge help us understand and grow
     Healing and miracles confirm the truth of the Bible
     Prophecy and guides us in our spiritual life
     Distinguishing between spirits protects us from deceiving spirits
     Tongues and interpretation of tongues enriches our prayer life and personal relationship with Jesus
     Gifts are not given as a reward or to separate / divide us
     Different gifts are given to make us dependent on each other in a community of believers

Spiritual gifts are given to help us discover Jesus and our own spiritual identity - as brothers and sisters in Christ!

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