When was the last time you begged God for an epiphany? For a great many of us, finding epiphanies and asking for things is the whole reason why we even acknowledge the existence of God. (If that’s you, reader, I hope that this changes your mind. Jesus cares so much about you that He wants to go through life with you!) Epiphanies can be great. They can be exactly what we need when we work and work at discovering something about ourselves that we know we need to understand in order to be the most authentic and most amazing version of ourselves. They can be closure for such a journey, or they can be the beginnings of new journeys.
Toward the end of Luke, it is recorded that as Jesus, who by this time was resurrected, was breaking bread in Emmaus, the eyes of those who had invited Him into their home were opened to recognize Him for who He was; additionally, He opened the understanding of the apostles before He ascended so that they could understand in the deepest way the message they were to convey. Similarly, the apostle John records that as the apostles were fishing after the resurrection, Jesus showed up on the shore, but they didn’t recognize Him until after they did as He said, throwing the net to the other side of the boat for the catch.
This isn’t the first time, though, that a person’s eyes were opened and it was recorded in the Bible. (I’m sure there have been plenty of other times, as well.) No, the first time was in Eden, but that part wasn’t God’s doing. In fact, God warned them about the death to follow their actions if they took on the knowledge of good and evil. Did they—no, did we listen? For a moment, but that was a brief moment. We were quick to believe whatever we were told, even if it were told by someone who isn’t God, not proven to be worthy of our trust. As soon as we took the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, our eyes were opened.
They realized they were naked. They immediately knew their smallness and God’s bigness and divinity by comparison. Before the rebellion, that wasn’t an issue. But it became an issue. They hadn’t been exposed to sin, but after the act, they had. That’s the important part. That was their “epiphany.” They screwed up, and they knew it. They were small, and they knew it. That’s why they hid. They knew they could be killed. But that was never God’s plan—keep in mind that God said, “You shall surely die,” not, “I shall surely kill you.” However, God must eradicate sin.
Eventually, we realize that we’re destructive, sinful; but once we choose to follow Christ, we no longer identify with the sin living in us. It may still fight against us, but our focus is made to shift from how bad we are to how good God is, and He begins working on us when we do that because that’s when He starts to direct our paths.
We don’t always recognize the gravity of what we choose until after the fact. Until a couple years ago, I didn’t realize what kind of “friend” I was to people. I was terrible at it. In the end, I realized that I made tons of relationship decisions purely for selfish reasons. When my eyes opened, though, and I had pushed a majority of people away, I saw myself for what I was. It wasn’t a pleasant epiphany, but how frequent such dark epiphanies are!
Why not search for something better? Rather than obsessing over how to obtain what we want, to keep what we have, to take what we covet, or to avoid what we fear, why not seek an epiphany of who God is? I know for a fact that I have no concept of the glory of God because I can’t wrap my head around how someone so perfect would die for me or be pure enough to kill death.
In His presence I unravel. In His presence we all do. What we see as a puzzle is in plain sight to Him. When we don’t understand ourselves or why we do things, He does, and He knows how to save us. When He opens our eyes, He opens them for good. When He opens our hearts, He opens them forever. He opens doors no man can shut.
I don’t know if He would have eventually revealed the knowledge of good and evil to humanity. He very well could have. We have no idea how that would have worked out, but distrusting Him enough to disobey Him was proof enough that we didn’t really know God in the truest sense of the word.
Knowing this, rather than pouring ourselves into self-centered, self-serving, ego-stroking counterfeits of wisdom that unravel before the wisdom of our God, we should seek to simply know Him more. If He was faithful to reveal His deepest truths to the apostles, He will be faithful to guide us in His paths. Pray that He opens your eyes to see Him and that He unravels your understanding to wrap up within you His wisdom.