Radiating the Glory of Christ

The apostle Paul wrote, “We all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18).  If you drop back to verse seven, you find that Paul is using an episode from the life of Moses as an object lesson: Our character will tend to reflect that of the one to whom we are devoted and with whom we spend most of our time.

Exodus 34 recounts the story of Moses meeting with Jehovah God on Mount Sinai at which time God gave him a law intended for the Israelite people only.  After 40 days and 40 nights, Moses descended from the mountain with two stone tablets, unaware that the skin of his face was shining as a result of his having been in God’s presence.  The Israelites considered it such a frightening phenomenon that Moses placed a veil over his face when speaking to them.

In verses 14 and 15 of 2 Corinthians 3, Paul refers to the veil to symbolize the spiritual blindness of many of the Jews of his day because of their obstinance.  Even though they often read the prophecies that were so obviously fulfilled by Jesus of Nazareth, it was as if they had laid a veil over those sacred passages and rejected Him as Messiah despite the evidence.

Then comes the beautiful lesson about influence and transformation.  Whenever a person turns to the Lord Jesus, the veil of confusion and ignorance is taken away (v. 16).  In the same way Moses’ face was transformed by being in the presence of the glory of God, disciples of Jesus will be transformed into the image of our Teacher when we, with unveiled faces, remain in His presence.

This concept is not unique to 2 Corinthians 3.  Romans 8:29 refers to “being conformed to the image of His Son.”  Jesus said, “It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master” (Matthew 10:25).  Paul expressed it beautifully in Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

The heart and life of the Christian should reflect the love, compassion, zeal, devotion to truth and grace in suffering and persecution that Jesus modeled for us.  If we spend enough time listening to Him, speaking to our Father through Him and putting His teachings into practice, our lives should bring glory to His name, which is why we are here in the first place.