Jesus Appears as the Light that Shines in the Darkness

January 22, 2023 —

As the star appeared in the East, Jesus appeared as the true light of the world and has taught us to reflect that light. Epiphany!

In our Old Testament Lesson we have another prophecy from Isaiah. The land of the two northernmost tribes, Zebulon and Naphtali bore the brunt of foreign attacks on Israel that came from the north. They tried to use superstition and soothsayers to give them a leg ahead. “To the Law and to the testimony!” Isaiah shouted. Turn to the Word of God, not wizards that mutter inanities! But then Isaiah foretells the day when that norther region, “Galilee of the Gentiles” will be the area from which a great light will appear. (See the Gospel Lesson for the fulfillment.)

The Gospel Lesson quotes Isaiah’s prophecy. The Messiah, born in Bethlehem, grew up in “Galilee of the Gentiles” in the town of Nazareth. “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, along the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, 16 the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and on those dwelling in the region and the shadow of death a light has dawned.” After John the Baptist had been put in prison, Jesus continued the call to repent he had proclaimed. At that time Jesus began to formally call His 12 Disciples. At the shore of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus calls Peter & Andrew and James and John to become “fishers of men.”

In our Epistle Lesson St. John reminds us that true disciples of Jesus “walk as Jesus walked.” We Christians need to be reminded that as followers of the One who is the Light of the World, we too must live in the light as people of light.

Sermon theme, based on the Gospel: “Come, Follow Me.”

This Week’s Lessons:

Isaiah 8:19—9:4

1 John 2:3–11

Matthew 4:12–23   (sermon text)

Psalm 27

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