Third Sunday after Epiphany – Friday
This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him. – Matthew 17:5.
Nothing on earth, dear reader, can possibly be of greater consequence for you than being fully assured of the fact that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God and your merciful Savior and Redeemer. One thing only can give you this certainty: Hearing and reading His Word (Romans 10:17; John 5:39).
Recall the story we read on Tuesday of the second week after Epiphany. There God the Father said concerning Jesus at His transfiguration: “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him.” Referring to this wonderful manifestation of the Savior’s glory, St. Peter writes:
“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables [myths] when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to Him from the excellent glory: ‘This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.’ And this voice which came from heaven we heard when we were with Him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure Word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the Daystar arise in your hearts; knowing this first that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (II Peter 1:16-21).
Hear, read, and heed the Word of Jesus and the Word concerning Jesus. You will find it in the word of the prophets (Acts 10:43), who prophesied concerning Him, and in the word of the apostles and evangelists (I Corinthians 2:13), who proclaimed His deity, His almighty power, His vicarious atonement, His perfect satisfaction of God’s justice, and His coming again to judge the world in righteousness by His Word. That is God’s sure “Word of prophecy,” His verbally-inspired “Scripture,” God’s written revelation concerning Jesus, given by inspiration of the Holy Ghost (II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:21).
From its divine testimony and only through its enlightening power, will the day dawn (II Corinthians 4:6) and the Daystar, our Lord Jesus Christ, arise in your heart, the divine certainty that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God and your merciful Savior and Redeemer. For by this Word, the Holy Spirit, who is God, works, strengthens and preserves saving faith within your heart. And faith is certainty (II Timothy 1:12b).
PRAYER. – Almighty and eternal God, I thank Thee that Thou hast given to wretched mankind, sitting in spiritual darkness and in the shadow of death, the lamp of Thy holy Word, the Word concerning Christ their Savior, as a bright light to dispel the darkness of spiritual ignorance concerning Thy mercy and grace and the only way to heaven. Grant me, I humbly beg Thee, Thy Holy Ghost, that at all times I heed this precious divine revelation of Thy grace and its assurance of Thy reconciliation of the world unto Thyself in Christ, that the day of spiritual enlightenment may continue to dawn within my heart, and that Christ, the true Morning-star, may be for me the Light that brings me to eternal light in heaven. For His sake and in His name I ask it. Amen.
Thou holy Light, Guide Divine, oh, cause the Word of Life to shine!
Teach us to know our God aright and call Him Father with delight.
From every error keep us free; let none but Christ our Master be,
that we in living faith abide, in Him, our Lord, with all our might confide.
Hymn 224, v. 2 (TLH)