"Manifest at Jordan's stream, Prophet, Priest, and King supreme; And at Cana wedding guest in Thy Godhead manifest; Manifest in pow'r divine, changing water into wine; Anthems be to Thee addressed, God in man made manifest.
"Sun and moon shall darkened be, stars shall fall, the heav'ns shall flee; Christ will then like lightning shine, all will see His glorious sign; All will then the trumpet hear, all will see the Judge appear; Thou by all wilt be confessed, God in man made manifest."
God was coming to earth, but how would He be "made manifest"? That is, how would He be made known or revealed? The prophets foretold God's coming and the ways in which He could be recognized. "God in man made manifest" would "come with might" and "tend His flock like a shepherd" (Isaiah 40:10b, 11b). He would "bring good news to the poor" and "proclaim liberty to the captives" (Isaiah 61:1b).
In the Person of Jesus, God came to live on earth, born among us, true God and true Man. Jesus is "God in man made manifest." At times Jesus made Himself known as the Messiah and Son of God, but more often He was made manifest in other ways. Baptized "at Jordan's stream," God the Son was revealed when His Father announced from heaven, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17b). Jesus' identity was made known to His disciples at the wedding in Cana as He changed water into wine. With that first miracle, Jesus "manifested His glory. And His disciples believed in Him" (John 2:11b).
In the humility and weakness of His death on the cross, God in man was made manifest only to the sight of faith. Jesus fulfilled the words of the prophet as He was "pierced for our transgressions" (Isaiah 53:5b). He was revealed as the Son of God in His resurrection from the dead (see Romans 1:4) Still today Jesus makes Himself known to us in His Word, in Baptism, and in His Holy Supper. His compassion is revealed to others through our works of love and service for the people around us. In the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus' saving work is made known in our words of witness.
Finally, the day is coming when Jesus our Lord will again be made manifest among us. On the Last Day, the "sun and moon shall darkened be" and "stars shall fall, the heav'ns shall flee." Jesus will come again, but this time He will not be revealed only to His followers. "He is coming with the clouds and every eye will see Him" (Revelation 1:7a). Returning in great power and glory as Judge and King, Jesus will be finally and fully known to all as "God in man made manifest."
WE PRAY: Lord Jesus, I confess You as God in man made manifest. You are my Savior and Lord. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn, "Songs of Thankfulness and Praise," which is number 394 in the Lutheran Service Book.
1. How did Jesus let us know that He was God in the flesh?
2. Why was the Heavenly Father pleased with His Son?
3. How does our good works for others display the love of God to them?
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