As we continue studying Titus 2:11-15, Paul says that salvation has appeared to all. “Appeared” is the Greek word where we get our English word, “epiphany.” Epiphany gives us the idea of light appearing in the darkness, like at sunrise. Here “epiphany” refers to God’s grace like a new light of truth in Christ appearing in the darkness.
This reminds me of the story of the first Easter morning. Jesus had been dead for Friday, Saturday, and now into Sunday, and his followers are distraught. Do you remember that moment where Mary from Magdalene is in the garden where Jesus’ tomb was located, and she discovers that the tomb is empty, and assumes that someone must have taken the body? She wanders in the garden, confused, bumping into a man whom she thinks is the gardener. Through tears, she asks him where the body of Jesus is. And the gardener simply says one word, her name, “Mary.” At that moment Mary has an understanding. An epiphany. It was not the gardener who stood before her, but it was Jesus.
Now back in Titus, Paul is saying that salvation is revealed to all. How has the grace of God that brings salvation appeared to all men? The word “to” can also be translated “for”. Either works. It is salvation for all and to all. Paul is not saying that all are automatically saved. Instead he saying that the scope of salvation is that it is revealed to all.
So before we continue, let me ask a question: do you know that God wants to be in a relationship with you? His grace has appeared. He has initiated it. He has done it. He is reaching out. He really wants to know you and be known by you. Do you know him? Do the people in your family really know him? How about your neighbors? Friends?
When I think about really knowing him, I go back to our Faith Church Logo and that vertical black line in the middle of the four squares. We call that the Matthew 7 line because of the short parable Jesus tells in Matthew 7:21-23. He describes people who thought for sure they were going to enter Jesus’ Kingdom, but he shocks them saying, “Depart from, I never knew you.” Do you really know him? Or do you think you know him, but he would say, “I never knew you.” And how do you know if you know him?
As we continue walking through this passage in these series of posts on Titus 2:11-15, we’ll see how Paul answers these questions. For now, think about the questions I’ve asked. How would you answer them? Have you experienced the epiphany, the revealing of God’s grace in your life?