Epiphany in St. John
Epiphany According to the Gospel of St. John
All Saints * Dr. Gregg Strawbridge * January 25, 2009
We have seen Epiphany through the lens of Luke, Matthew and Mark. In Matthew there is the Star. Jesus is the great Priest. In Luke we have the Benedictus and Nunc Dimittis, canticles (of Zacharias and Simeon) which both refer to the “light” to the people/nations. Jesus is the great Prophet. Mark’s Epiphany theme focuses upon His “manifestation” in His baptism. Jesus is the great King-servant (10:44ff).
There are deep structures in Matthew, Mark, and Luke to show the finger of divine fulfillment, for those who have eyes to see. The Gospel of John is in a separate category from the “synoptic gospels” of Matthew, Mark and Luke. They show that Jesus fulfills the role of Priest (Matthew), King (Mark) and Prophet (Luke).
While these representations show His “light” or “manifestation,” John actually has the words, “I am the light of the world” (John 9:1-7). John's Gospel shows us that Jesus is the full manifestation of God Himself. “The only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him” (1:18).
1) He is “a new creator (eight days) and light has come to “enlighten every man” (1:9).
2) Jesus identifies Himself in striking claims (remember C.S. Lewis’s “Lord, liar, lunatic”). He states seven “I am’s.”
He does seven signs to “signal” His Messianic identity.
These seven signs are related in parallels:
1/7 Water to wine/Water and blood,
2/6 Salvation from death/Salvation from the grave,
3/5 Sabbath restoration of the lame/blind,
4th and central to the Gospel is Jesus feeding the five thousand and walking on water.
Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more