NT Connect: 2 Corinthians 3:1-18
Weekly Reading: Exodus 31-35
Have you gazed at the glory of God? This does not mean a passing glance or a peripheral peek. This is far more than the question of whether you have acknowledged that God exists. “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder” (James 2:19 NIV). Rather, ask yourself: have I set my eyes steadfastly on the glory of the one true God? Have I fixed my stare on him who gives life to all things and causes all things to exist that do exist?
To fix your eyes on God means to consider him deeply and to come to know him intimately. To fix your eyes on him is to recognize him as an appraiser recognizes the authenticity of an autograph. This type of insight is only possible by studying a thing until you come to know it for what it is. You recognize even the best imitations because you know the genuine article so well. Too often, we settle for passing thoughts of God at the expense of truly knowing him.
Have you ever stared into the sun? If you have, it has lasted only a moment, and even that moment felt like an eternity. And yet God’s glory is brighter still. Revelation 21:23 explains that the Holy City “does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp” (NIV).
In Exodus 34:29–35, when Moses saw this glory on Mount Sinai, his face radiated as it reflected the glory of God. Whenever Moses would meet with God he would unveil his face, then he would come out and cover his shining face when he spoke to the people. In fact, “The Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory” (2 Corinthians 3:7).
Yet, Paul continues, “We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away” (2 Corinthians 3:13 NIV). If the giving of the law, which cannot give life, came with such glory that the Israelites could not look on the face of Moses, how much more glorious must be the gospel, which gives life in the Holy Spirit. Only through Jesus Christ is the veil that hides the true revelation of God removed.
Through faith in Jesus Christ, the veil between God and humans is removed. “No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known” (John 1:18 NIV). Christ sends his Holy Spirit to work such power in us that we can know God.
If you would know God, fix your gaze on Christ. He is the one who gives you life. You will only find Christ in God’s Word, so get the Holy Scriptures in your mind and heart. Set your eyes on the glory of God revealed in Jesus Christ. Look to him and live!