2 Corinthians 3:12-13; 4:1-3, 6 - Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's Word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God. ... For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
It's a weird little story Paul is talking about. When Moses brought the Ten Commandments down from Mount Sinai, the people at the foot of the mountain were surprised to see that his face shone with the glory of God. It scared them. But Moses made them come close to hear God's message, and after that, he put a veil over his face. So the only time they got to see Moses' face clearly was when he was giving them God's message. The rest of the time his face was covered up.
It's not entirely clear, but it looks like Moses did this so that the people wouldn't be able to see the glory fading away. Maybe he thought that they would have problems with their faith if they saw the glory wearing off and Moses' ordinary human face returning to normal. And so Moses took steps to hide that. They only got to see his face at its most glorious, when he had just been in the presence of God.
Some Christians do something similar even today, don't they, don't we? We are all familiar with people who show only their best side on Sunday at church—the smiles, the proper language, the carefully censored conversation that makes it sound like they've got their Christian lives completely under control. No sin for them, oh no! No angry outbursts, no ongoing temptations, no doubts, no worries, no family problems. Just a victorious Christian life, day after day after fake day.
Because that's what it is, isn't it? It doesn't matter how many veils we throw over our lives to hide our fading glory. We still sin. We are broken. We need help. We still need Jesus, our Savior, every single day of our lives.
And so God invites us to live, not like Moses, but like Paul—as people who are willing to let our flaws and weaknesses show, because we trust that Jesus has redeemed us with his life, death, and resurrection. We also know that He has given us His Holy Spirit, who is slowly but surely transforming us into Jesus' glorious likeness. And so we don't need to hide or be ashamed of the work God is doing in our lives. As Paul says, "We all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another" (2 Corinthians 3:18a).
THE PRAYER: Dearest Jesus, help me to relax in Your love, knowing that You are working even when my flaws and weakness show the most. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. What is your favorite mask or costume? Why?
2. What aspects of your life are you most tempted to hide from fellow Christians?
3. When have you seen God's glory shining through the life of an ordinary flawed Christian?
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