Today’s Reading: 2 Corinthians 3
Today’s chapter is so important because it is a challenge for the church and how we are supposed to look. As we keep attending church every Sunday, going to small groups, listening to preaching, what is the end game? Where is all of this heading? What’s the win? Maybe a better question is, “How do I know I am winning and on the right track?” In 2 Corinthians 3, Paul give us “the win”:
But 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)
When you read the entire chapter, Paul recounts the story of Moses from thousands of years ago and what would happen to him every time he went on the mountain and talked with God. His countenance would change and radiate after being in God’s presence, and everyone saw it. But after some time away from the presence of God, the brightness would fade. Paul then explains that this new covenant brings something very special that the old covenant didn’t: change without the fading.
Paul is giving us the win. Let’s unpack this concept.
There are two really important thoughts here. First, there are the words, But we all with unveiled faces. This is huge. When Moses came down from the mountain, Moses’ face would shine from talking with God and he would put a veil over his face. Here is where the problem lies: some think he put on the veil because his face was so shiny and people couldn’t look at it. But that doesn’t seem to be the reason according to verse 13: “And [we] are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel would not look intently at the end of what was fading away.”
He would put the veil on his face to cover the fading not to cover the brightness. This distinction is important. It seems he wanted the children of Israel to think more was there than what really was. The veil was not to protect them from the brightness but to try to impress them that it was still there. The veil was to impress not to protect.
This is where Paul drops the new covenant bomb. He tells us that we all have unveiled faces. He’s saying, don’t try to hide behind something as if you’ve got something going on when you don’t. We have to be real to be changed. Stop pretending to be shiny when you are not. Then God can do something that lasts.
That’s the next part: “But 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” (verse 18). Like Moses speaking to God and being changed, as we behold the glory of the Lord, it happens to us. What is the glory of the Lord?
Hebrews 1:3 says that Jesus is the glory of the Lord. And as we see Jesus, we are being transformed into the same image. The more we see Jesus in His Word, in His people, in His church . . . change is happening to us. Beholding is transforming. And the transforming is into the same image. That means we start looking like Jesus in our ways, attitudes, and actions.
That’s the difference between Moses and us. We don’t need a veil to hide fading, because it’s a transformation that has lasting effect.
Our end goal, our win is not to look like our church, our denomination, or our pastor. It is to look like Jesus. Anything else fades and we need to pull out the veil. And each day we see Jesus, we become more like Him.