Who do you see?

Have you ever noticed that owners of pets sometimes look like their pets?  It makes you wonder if owners are attracted to pets that look like themselves or if they start looking like each other over time.  How about your grandparents or that nice old couple at McDonald’s?  Notice how they look like they could be brother and sister?  What is that all about?  Did they find each other because they looked alike or did they grow to look like each other over time?  How about this idea…they see more of the other than they do themselves.  Think about it.  How much time do you spend looking at yourself in the mirror?  Maybe for some of us it is too much time but I think you are getting the point.  Do we start looking like the one we see the most?  Come on, it’s a pretty good question if you will admit it.  You know God has something to say about this, would you like to take a little journey in discovery?  I promise a short walk.

The Holy Spirit through Paul makes this seemingly strange statement in 2nd Corinthians:

2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord (KJV)

Let me unpack it a little.  The word changed is metamorphoō which means to change into another form, to transform, to transfigure.  It is only used a few times in the New Testament.  Twice it refers to Jesus when He was transfigured like in this verse:

Mark 9:2 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them,

Again the word is used in this well-known verse in Romans:

Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]. (AMP)

It is like the caterpillar turning into a butterfly.  You go from one state to another but retain something of your previous state.  You are still the same person but very different.  For Jesus He was in a glorified state.  The disciples obviously recognized Him but He was a bright as lightning (that’s pretty bright).  Paul actually makes a similar reference to seeds and plants.  They may look like the same thing and are actually very different but at the core they are the same thing or come from the same origin.

Here is the verse again with a few more definitions:

2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord (KJV)

into the same: autos, himself.  Why it is translated this way I don’t have a clue, but this Greek word autos is most often translated as himself or some form of the same.  It is often in reference to Jesus.

image: eikōn, an image, figure, likeness.  Here are some other verses you may be familiar with that have this Greek word eikon:

Col 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. (ESV)

Col 3:10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. (ESV)

Rom 8:29 For those whom he fore knew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. (ESV)

even as: kathaper, in the exact likeness.  I really like this one.  We are being transformed into the exact likeness of Jesus not just somewhat but exactly.

Check out this translation:

2 Corinthians 3:18 Our faces, then, are not covered [With an unveiled face…]. We all show [reflect; or behold; or contemplate] the Lord’s glory, and we are being changed [transformed] to be like him [into the same image]. This change in us brings ever greater glory [or is from one degree of glory to another; is from glory to glory], which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (EXB)

There is an important part that is missing in this verse and it is found in the preceding verses.  See if you can find it (think of Romans 12:2).

2 Cor 3:14 But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. 15 Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. 16 But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (ESV)

Can you see it?  “When one turns to the Lord”  This is the renewing of our minds.  We turn from our old way of thinking to a new way of thinking.  Remember these verses?

1 Cor 2:14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. (ESV)

So I think the Lance Literal Translation would read something like this:

When we change our thinking and begin to see ourselves in the mirror like God sees us we are transformed.  We see His goodness towards us and in us.  As a matter of fact when we look into the mirror we should see Jesus.  The more we see ourselves as He sees us the more we realize He made us and redeemed us to be just like Jesus. (LLT)

So I don’t know the answer to the pet-owner thing or why my Grandparents looked like siblings.  I think it is partly because we become what we see.  But that is in the natural.  When we approach ourselves in a mirror however we need to stop believing what the world and the enemy says.  We need to believe what God has said.  Jesus paid the ultimate price to make this a reality.  He paid the ultimate price to restore us to our original created value and make His home in us.  This home of His is righteous, holy, pure, clean, redeemed, reconciled, restored and free.  The sin in our lives has been removed and forgotten.  We are no longer slaves to sin or sinners.  We get to live the eternal life of Christ.  We get to be like Him.  We get to do what He did and even greater.  It’s time to stop looking in the mirror and seeing something that GOD SAYS isn’t there any more.  Jesus said “it is finished.”  We need to take captive any thought that is contrary to that single most important truth.  To do anything different is to say the Jesus on the cross wasn’t enough.  I didn’t say it, God did.  I leave you with one more translation of this passage.  Pretty awesome.

2 Corinthians 3:16-18 Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him. (MSG)

So go and spend some time looking in the mirror.  Ask Jesus to reveal himself.  I have heard of people “seeing the eyes of Jesus” instead of their eyes.  I want that.  I say go for it!  It is God’s plan.  It is His will.  He doesn’t make mistakes and you are proof!

Yay Jesus!

Lance

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One Response to Who do you see?

  1. So I noticed that last translation of 2cor. 3:16-18 says…”turns to face God as Moses did, then he removes the veil…”. I wonder where that Moses part came from? It doesn’t seem to be in the other translations. I guess it is referring to vs 14 -15. I’ve always thought vs 15 was strange…you would think that God would take away the veil SO we could see him. Instead, it’s when we turn to the Lord, THEN he removes the veil. Now overlay vs. 18 Msg (and consider Ps. 103:7). It seems to me that the thing that removes the veil and makes a way for us to be changed into what we behold (him), is approaching him as Moses did…face to face and in intimacy…seeking the ways of God (his nature and character)…his very essence, bc I crave him, I love him, I must be near him instead of seeking his act (or seeking his hand). This puts fresh fire in me to rest in him and wait on him, lavish worship towards him…bc it’s from this place of love that offers access to Gods heart where he trusts us to value his truest nature and he removes the veil (there is no thing covering the most intimate places), making the way for us to become like him. Those who value the relationship (ways) more than the things (acts) will go to another level in personal relationship with him, just like Moses did. Hmm, I wonder if any of this makes sense…well, it does in my mind at least! Hahahaha! Yay God! Love, Darla

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