Blog, Influencers Devotionals

The Unveiled Face by Rocky Fleming

August 23, 2022

“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)

As a Jew writing this letter to the church at Corinth, Paul would likely be thinking of Moses who wore a veil for a time after an encounter with God on Mount Sinai where he was given the Ten Commandments.  When Moses came down from the mountain his face was so bright the people couldn’t look at him without fear and a veil was required.  I think it was also to veil God’s dynamic influence on his life and keep it a mystery, for the Israelites had more to come that they needed to learn and apply to their lives, and Moses’ credibility would be required.   About 1500 years later the veil would be removed, the mystery explained, and a new look given to the people who “behold” God’s glory.  It is a transformed look.  It is the look of Jesus.  As stated in the passage above, “this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit,” and it is the work of God’s Spirit to be about a transformational change in the life and look of His child.  But what does that “look” look like?  Let’s explore it.

I believe the work of the Spirit in a Christian’s life is to reform us from the wounded, flawed orphans that this world produces.  The fruit of this re-formation is transformation, and transformation starts at the heart, which is our identity.  From the heart it works outward with our choices, our perspectives, our value system and it finally becomes an outward expression that has the look of Jesus.  Now I’m not talking about the outward physical appearance of Jesus, for we don’t know what He looked like physically, even if it mattered.  It’s another kind of look of Jesus that God wants to produce in the life of His child.  What is that look?

Close your eyes and imagine Jesus without trying to make Him look physically a certain way.  Describe Him based on what you’ve read from His teachings and demeanor, what you’ve read from others that knew Him closely, and your own encounter with His Spirit.  Don’t you think we do Him an injustice to try and describe Him physically?  Aren’t His traits and glory far greater than the body He occupied for a short while?  Of course, they are and he’s going for that look in us.  It is the Spirit’s sanctifying work in our life to create a “look” based on those non-physical attributes that Jesus had.  What would they look like?  We can see the core of them in what is called “The Fruit of the Spirit” in Galatians 5:22-23.

Love – In Revelations 2:4 the letter to the church at Ephesus includes these words: “But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.”  That first love Jesus is referencing is His love for them, for He loves us first.  They had forgotten this.  The love characteristic with the Jesus look is knowing that we are loved, loving Jesus back, then loving others.  His love surfaces from this connection to others around us in a supernatural way.

Joy – In Nehemiah 8:10 we read that the “joy of the Lord is your strength.”  The joy characteristic with the Jesus look is a deep, settled confidence that all is well with our soul.  It is infectious and will influence people toward the Source of it in our life.

Peace – In Matthew 5:9 Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers.”  Peace must reside in our heart before it can be expressed to others and in turn make us peacemakers.  The peace characteristic with the Jesus look is having peace with God first, and then the fruit of it creating characteristics in us that are inviting, helpful and encouraging to others while bringing them peace.

Patience – In Proverbs 16:32 we read: “Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.” Patience is a great strength, for it allows God time to work.  The Jesus look of patience is a settled trust in God’s magnificent plans, whether they are for our life or others, and with circumstances and challenges of all kinds.   Trust in God’s sovereignty is at the heart of patience.

Kindness – Kindness could be described as merciful, selfless and compassionate.  The Jesus look of kindness would exhibit those characteristics, for we see them in Him, our Good Shepherd.

Goodness – What is the difference with good and goodness?  Good describes something.  Goodness is something.  The Jesus look of goodness is an expression of being personally and authentically good.  It is a true example of it originating within the person, rather than just a good idea of what a good person looks like.

Faithfulness – If there is a family DNA trait in Jesus that is more like His Father, I cannot think of one greater than faithfulness.  Throughout history God the Father has been faithful.  He doesn’t turn us away.  He doesn’t change.  He is not fickle or wishy washy, back and forth.  God the Father is the greatest example of faithfulness, and Jesus is the perfect example of Him.  Little wonder that the Jesus look would continue this family trait in His children who “look” like Him, for as believers we are sons and daughters of God and He wants to pass it along.

Gentleness – In Ephesians 4:2 (NLT) we read, Always be humble and gentle.”  What is the truth about gentleness here?  Gentleness is an act that we give to others.  Humility is the way we offer it.  Although Jesus is Lord and could have demanded His rights as Lord, He was humble, and showed His gentleness from that perspective.  It impacted people as no other person or king, or ruler could.  Humility is a hidden strength that conveys a powerful action when a strong man or woman is humble and gentle.  The Jesus look connects these two traits of Jesus into a life.  We are gentle, but we are strong.  We are humble, but we are members of the Royal Priesthood.  Heaven holds the gentle saints in high esteem, for they look a lot like Jesus.

Self-Control – It is an amazing privilege to be God’s child, and to be loved by the Creator of all things.  As His chosen child and adopted into His family it would be easy to feel very special and act with great pride.  Did we see this in Jesus?  On the contrary.  We see a different personification by the Son of God in Philippians 2:5-7.  “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant.”  The Jesus look knows who he or she is as God’s child, but also knows that they operate with self-control by being under Christ-control.  There is a quite dignity in this that looks a lot like Jesus.

When the transformation is complete the veil comes off and what is seen is the glory of God shining through our life.  That is the work of the Spirit to transform us this way, and Jesus is the look He is going for.  For those who will abide in Jesus as He abides in us, we will see the reality of this transformation in our life, for that is the Spirit’s work to do this.