Read: Titus 2:11-15
For the grace of God has appeared . . . (v. 11)
In ten days the church will mark Epiphany. The word means “to appear,” and on January 6 the church in some traditions will mark the appearance of the star that led the Magi to the Christ, and other traditions will mark the appearance of the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus at his baptism. When Paul wrote to Titus, he used the Greek word epiphanein to remind Titus that what ultimately appeared when Jesus came to this earth was God’s grace. Grace appeared.
Throughout the Bible, God’s grace is considered God’s core attribute. Over and over in the Psalms, Israel gave God the glory for his chesed, a nearly untranslatable word that means “mercy, lovingkindness, grace.” Despite some who think that God in the Old Testament was an angry, fire-breathing deity, God’s grace was known and celebrated all along.
But when Jesus was born, grace became a living person. Grace itself was made flesh. God’s grace had been there all along but when it appeared in human form through Jesus, the splendor of grace became more apparent than ever. Never before had God’s determination to save us by grace alone been so plain to see. The child born to Mary would, as Paul says, give himself up to redeem us, to purify us from our sin, to make us new people.
Paul told Titus that this means we now behave in God-glorifying ways. Because when you see the appearance of grace, you want to turn your entire life into a giant “Thank You” card to God! —Scott Hoezee
As you pray, thank God for his amazing grace!
About the Author
Scott Hoezee is an ordained pastor in the Christian Reformed Church of North America. He served two Michigan congregations from 1990-2005 and since 2005 has been a faculty member at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he serves chiefly as the Director of The Center for Excellence in Preaching. He is the author of several books, including most recently Why We Listen to Sermons (Calvin Press 2019) and is the co-host of the “Groundwork” radio program.