We Have Seen His Glory

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The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

When John wrote “we have seen His glory” he probably meant it literally. Although John himself never describes the event, the other three gospels do. It is sometimes called the “transfiguration”. Luke tells it this way:

About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what he was saying. While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves and did not tell anyone at that time what they had seen. (Luke 9:28-36)

Peter makes reference to the same event when he says,

For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain. (2 Peter 1: 16-18)

There are several other New Testament references to Jesus’ glory, but as we’ve already discovered, that subject may be a little too broad for the scope of this blog. I will tell you though, that the word translated “glory” here is the Greek word “doxa”.  A discussion concerning the actual meaning of the word  can be found here.

The point I want to make is this: Both Peter and John were part of Jesus’ inner circle (along with John’s brother James). They witnessed countless miracles in the three years they spent with Jesus. Here they actually saw Jesus with Moses and Elijah in “glorious splendor”; they were in the cloud, and they still didn’t get it!

Jesus called John and his brother James, “sons of thunder” (Mark 3:17) probably because they did things like ask him if he wanted them to “call fire down from heaven” (Luke 9:54). Peter was impetuous and short tempered. When Jesus was crucified, they were  both devastated, and hid with the other disciples in “fear of the Jewish leaders” (John 20:19).

Even after the saw the resurrected Lord, they still didn’t understand. Jesus told them to wait in Jerusalem until they received the “gift from the Father” (Acts 1:4.) The gift arrived on the day of Pentecost, 40 days after Jesus had gone back to heaven.

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. (Acts 2:1-4)

That day, Peter preached the first gospel message to the crowed gathered in Jerusalem.

When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38-39)

The gift of the Holy Spirit; Christ living in us. Peter and John received it on that day, as did the rest of the twelve, and the 3000 who were baptized. Jesus had told them that the Holy Spirit would help them remember (John 14:26). They remembered, they finally understood, and they were changed!

Read the rest of the book of Acts and the letters written by Peter and John to witness the amazing transformation.

Over the last 2000 years, countless live have been changed in the same way.

Has yours?



Reflecting God’s Glory

At the end of Exodus 33, Moses asked to see God’s glory. God’s reply was something like: “I can’t do that Moses. It would kill you. I’ll tell you what. There’s a rock nearby with a cleft in it. You stand in there, and I’ll cover you with my hand as I pass by. Then I’ll move my hand and you can see my back.” (paraphrase mine).

Chapter 34 opens like this:

The Lord said to Moses, “Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. Be ready in the morning, and then come up on Mount Sinai. Present yourself to me there on top of the mountain. No one is to come with you or be seen anywhere on the mountain; not even the flocks and herds may graze in front of the mountain.”

God had chiseled the stone tablets the first time, but now, God told Moses to do it. I have to wonder if that was to give Moses time to think about his temper that sent the first tablets crashing down the mountain.

So Moses chiseled out two stone tablets like the first ones and went up Mount Sinai early in the morning, as the Lord had commanded him; and he carried the two stone tablets in his hands. Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the Lord. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”

Moses bowed to the ground at once and worshiped. “Lord,” he said, “if I have found favor in your eyes, then let the Lord go with us. Although this is a stiff-necked people, forgive our wickedness and our sin, and take us as your inheritance.”

Then the Lord said: “I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the Lord, will do for you.  Obey what I command you today. I will drive out before you the Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. (Ex 34:4-11)

I’m not sure if Moses was in the cleft of the rock when this occurred; it really doesn’t say, but God passed in front of Moses and proclaimed Himself. In response, Moses hit his knees and worshiped God. Once again he asks God to go with them. God says He will make a covenant, or agreement, with Moses, to do incredible things for the people, and drive out the people already living in the promised land. The condition was that they had to obey God’s commands. In verses 12-26 God gives some of those commands, most of which are familiar to us, such as not worshiping other gods, not making any idols, keeping the sabbath, etc.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.” Moses was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant—the Ten Commandments. (Ex 34: 27-28)

For 40 days and 40 nights, Moses was in such deep communion with God that he went without food or water. This isn’t the only record in the Bible of someone going without food for 40 days.

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. (Matt 4:1-2)

Today, the general consensus is that a human being can go 3 days without water and 3 weeks without food. Yet, both Moses and Jesus went way past those limits. Obviously, God sustained them during that time.

When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord. When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him. But Moses called to them; so Aaron and all the leaders of the community came back to him, and he spoke to them. Afterward all the Israelites came near him, and he gave them all the commands the Lord had given him on Mount Sinai.

When Moses finished speaking to them, he put a veil over his face. But whenever he entered the Lord’s presence to speak with him, he removed the veil until he came out. And when he came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, they saw that his face was radiant. Then Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with the Lord. (Ex 34 29-35)

After all that he experienced on the mountain, Moses was literally glowing. The radiant Moses frightened Aaron and the others, and they didn’t want to come near him. Moses reassured them, and then gave them the Lord’s commands. Then he covered his face with a veil. From the way this reads, I would assume that from then on, Moses kept his face covered unless he was speaking with the Lord.

I have two thoughts about this: one is that Moses covered his face because the glowing unnerved the people and they didn’t want to see it. The other is that Moses feared they might start worshiping him instead of God. Actually, there is no evidence of the second one; unless it is simply the way that people tend to behave. I think that is also why God buried Moses Himself. If the people knew where he was buried, they may have created a shrine of the tomb and, in time, began to worship Moses instead of God.

As for the first thought; Paul, in his second letter to the church at Corinth, says this:

Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. And if what was transitory came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!

Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 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. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. (2 Cor 3:7-16)

The Israelites really didn’t want to see the glory. They really didn’t want to experience the presence of God. Yes, they were frightened that such an experience might kill them, but I wonder if they weren’t more afraid of the changes that kind of experience might produce in their own lives.

Moses was reflecting the glory of God, and he had to hide his face. How sad.

Paul continues with this:

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Cor 3:18-19).

Christians are supposed to be reflecting the glory of God too, and we aren’t supposed to cover it. We are to let it shine as it changes us daily; transforming us until we look just like Jesus.

Jesus said,

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matt 5:14-16)


Let it shine!


Songs for Sunday: Show Me Your Glory and He Hideth My Soul

Welcome to Songs for Sunday. Every Sunday morning, I’ll post something about a song or songs that pertain to other recent posts, or refer to “light” in some way. Consider it a great way to start your morning before you head out to church to meet with other believers. If it blesses you, please share it with others!

At the end of my “So, What is Glory?” Post, I shared the exchange between Moses and God from Exodus 33 and 34. Moses asked to see God’s glory, and God told him that he couldn’t see His face, but that God would put Moses in the cleft of a rock and cover him with is hand.  Then when God passed by, He would remove His hand and let Moses see Him from the back.

Today, I have two songs that refer back to that scripture.

The first is “Show Me Your Glory”, recorded by Third Day, and released in 2001 on their Grammy winning “Come Together” album. The song was written by Mark D. Lee, Samuel Tai Anderson, Bradley B.C. Avery, David Carr, Johnny Mac Powell, and Marc Byrd.

The song is a beautiful representation of not only Moses’ desire, but what should be ours as well.

I caught a glimpse of Your splendor
In the corner of my eye
The most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen
And it was like a flash of lightning
Reflected off the sky
And I know I’ll never be the same

Show me Your Glory
Send down Your presence
I want to see Your face
Show me Your Glory
Majesty shines about You
I can’t go on without You, Lord

When I climb down the mountain
And get back to my life
I won’t settle for ordinary things
I’m gonna follow You forever
And for all of my days
I won’t rest ’til I see You again

Show me Your Glory
Send down Your presence
I want to see Your face
Show me Your Glory
Majesty shines about You
I can’t go on without You, Lord

(Lyrics from MetroLyrics.com

The second song can be found in many hymnals.  Published in 1890, the lyrics were written by Fanny Crosby, and the music by William J. Kirkpatrick. Fanny Crosby, blinded as an infant, wrote the lyrics to over 8000 hymns, as well as some secular songs. Kirkpatrick was a composer and music publisher. He is credited with composing nearly 200 songs, as well as publishing 50 song collections. There may be more collaborations between them, but I only found one other song, called “Redeemed, How I Love to Proclaim It”.

As for “He Hideth My Soul, I have not found any additional information about it. However, the source for the chorus lyrics obviously comes from Exodus 33. I am always fascinated at how many of Fanny’s lyrics mention sight.

A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,
A wonderful Savior to me;
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock,
Where rivers of pleasure I see.

  • Refrain:
    He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock,
    That shadows a dry, thirsty land;
    He hideth my life in the depths of His love,
    And covers me there with His hand,
    And covers me there with His hand

A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,
He taketh my burden away,
He holdeth me up and I shall not be moved,
He giveth me strength as my day.

With numberless blessings each moment He crowns,
And filled with His fullness divine,
I sing in my rapture, oh, glory to God!
For such a Redeemer as mine.

When clothed with His brightness transported I rise
To meet Him in clouds of the sky,
His perfect salvation, His wonderful love,
I’ll shout with the millions on high. (Lyrics from Timeless Truths.com)


Here is a youtube video of Guy Penrod singing “He Hideth My Soul”

See you in church!

So, What Is Glory?

What does the word “glory” mean to you?

Last week we talked about “the glory of the Lord” and discovered the Bible uses the word “glory” a lot, (285 times in the NIV), but we never did settle on what it means. That’s probably because it’s one of those words we hear, but only vaguely grasp it’s meaning.

According to Merriam Webster.com, glory has many definitions: five noun definitions, one verb definition, and one interjection definition. I was going to list them all here, and discuss which definitions applied to what we read in the Bible, but I remembered something important.

The word we read as “glory” is translated from another language; two other languages actually. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, and the New Testament was written in Greek. In order to have better understanding of the word we read as “glory”, maybe we should see how the original writer’s meant it.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I really need to learn ancient Hebrew..and Greek..and probably Latin too. Since I don’t know any of those languages, except for a word here and there, I broke out both Young’s Analytical Concordance, and Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance. Both are for use with the King James version.

The first thing I realized was that my eyes aren’t as good as they used to be, so I used a page magnifier to get a better look. Still, the eye strain got to me pretty quickly.  The second thing was that there are  several different words translated “glory”, as well as all the variations of the word.  In Strong’s, I counted 15 different Hebrew, and 6 different Greek words. It’s a little more difficult to count in Young’s but I’m guessing the number to be the same, or at least, very close.

The way Strong’s works is that words appearing in the KJV are given in alphabetical order. Under the listing for the English word, scripture references are given, in the order in which they appear. Next to the scripture reference is the phrase from that verse, using the word in question. After the phrase, there is a number. This number either corresponds to a word in the Hebrew/Chaldee or Greek dictionary, both which are located in the back of the book. If the reference is in the Old Testament, use the Hebrew/Chaldee dictionary; if it’s in the New, use the Greek. The dictionary will give the word as it is written in the original language, the English version and then what the word means, and how it is used.

from Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance

Looking at the first entry under the word glory, I saw that it was in Genesis, and the number was 3519. Looking in the Hebrew/Chaldee dictionary I found the following.

from Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance

About half the time you read the word glory in the old testament, this was the original word. Kabod means heavy or weighty, as in having value or abundance. Sometimes it is translated as “honor”.

Young’s works a little differently. Under the English word, it gives you different meanings with the corresponding Hebrew or Greek word. Then it gives a scriptural example of that meaning. Using the English spelling of the Hebrew or Greek word, you can go to the back of the book and locate the corresponding word. Then you can see how many ways that word is translated, and how often it is translated a certain way.  It shows kabod translated as glorious ten times, gloriously twice, glory 155 times, honor 29 times, and honorable once.

from Young’s Analytical Concordance
from Young’s Analytical Concordance

We could spend a LOT of time researching each of the different Hebrew and Greek words translated as “glory”, but I am discovering that is way beyond the scope of this blog. At least it is for now.

This post from Regina at Daily Bible Study Tips not only explains the usage of kabod, but also covers some of the same territory we did last week. The Holman Bible Dictionary  gives a lengthy definition of glory, using both kabod and the Greek word doxa.

Before we go, let’s look at one more use of kabod.

This takes place after the event involving the golden calf (Exodus 32). God is angry and tells Moses, and the people to go ahead into the promised land, but He isn’t going with them because He might kill them. Moses asks the Lord to reconsider, because they are His people, and how will anyone know that they are God’s people if He doesn’t go with them? God tells Moses that He will do as Moses asks. Then Moses says something extraordinary:

 “Then Moses said, ‘Now show me your glory (kabod).’” (Ex 33:18)

What did Moses mean? There may be a clue in verse 13. Moses says,

 If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you.”

I think he wanted to know God as intimately as God knew him. He wanted to know the full weight, the full abundance, that is God. Moses wanted to really see God.  Look what God says to him.

 “And the Lord said, ‘I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.  But,’ he said, ‘you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.’ Then the Lord said, ‘There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.‘”(Ex 33:19-33)

Isn’t that amazing?