18 And 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. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV)
18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV)
There is something about the relationship between beholding, reflecting, and being transformed that really bears paying attention to. And it is captured in a very subtle way in this very verse. Do you see it? The word that is used here in 2 Corinthians 3 is translated different ways in different versions of scripture. The main two camps being, that we behold God’s glory and therefore are transformed by it. And the second being we reflect God’s glory as the moon does the light of the sun. Isn’t it great that God uses a word here that can be translated either way? Isn’t it just like him to do that? Isn’t it just like God to use a word that is not either or but both and? I love that. I love it because it means both are true…and intimately connected. It is by beholding Him (constantly fixing our eyes upon Him, like a groom who can’t take his eyes off of his beautiful bride) that we are changed into His likeness—transformed—and, in turn, reflect that glory to those around us. Moses veiled his face because he didn’t want the people to see the glory fading away, but when we behold Him we receive a glory that is not only unfading, but actually ever-increasing. So let us behold/reflect that we might be transformed more and more into His likeness.
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