I was reading in the book of Titus this morning. Paul had left Titus, his “true son in common faith,” in Crete to “set right what was left undone.” [1:4-5 HCSB]
This was a particularly difficult job because the Cretan Christians were being assaulted by false teachers, and as Paul described them in vs 12, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” Paul certainly wasn’t one to mince words.
Most of chapter 1 and 2 are focused on those things that were left undone, but then the end of chapter 2 ends on a wonderful note about grace and blessed hope and the appearing of Christ Jesus.
It begins “For the grace of God has appeared with salvation for all people …” —Oh, let’s stop there. [2:11 HCSB]
Grace appeared! The word for appeared is “epiphainó.” It means to become clearly known. We get our word epiphany from it. (Epiphany: a moment in which you suddenly see or understand something in a new or very clear way.)
God’s grace has always been present. It was present in the Garden when Adam & Eve failed, and God slayed an animal and covered them. It was present in the Levitical sacrificial system when once a year God rolled forward the sins of the nation until they rested on Christ Jesus at the cross.
Grace, however, became clearly known to “all people” when God sent His Precious Son because He loved us so! Grace for all is now clearly shown and universally available.
Grace appeared! Now that’s an epiphany!