Behind the Veil
“There He was transfigured before them.” Mark 9:2b
Several months ago, I had a small mole removed off my cheek for fear that it might be pre-cancerous (praise God, it was not!). The removal required a few stiches, ointment and a bandage. It wasn’t too big of a deal beside the fact that it was on my face! And despite its small size and relative quick healing, I was still very conscious of it being noticed.
Isn’t it true that we are so aware of how we present ourselves to the world? We don’t want anything to draw attention to us or call out our differences, least of all in the way we look.
Jesus was very different from all other men. He was and is the eternal King and immortal Lord, manifesting the invisible God! He became a man so that we might actually gaze upon Almighty God, who lives in unapproachable light.* I once heard His incarnation described as “the exact nature of God’s character stamped into human flesh.”
“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” Hebrews 1:3a
All of the glory, beauty and radiance of God contained in a humble human body. The Word of God made flesh. According to what we read in Isaiah, his appearance as a man was humble indeed:
“He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire Him.” Isaiah 53:2b
But here, in our story from Mark, we read how Jesus allowed Peter, James and John a brief glimpse beneath his human “veil” at the glory contained therein. According to Matthew’s account, Jesus was transformed before them and his face shone brighter than the sun. Upon seeing this, the disciples became terrified. Much later in his life, John had another similar experience, and described Jesus as such:
“His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, And his eyes were like blazing fire.” Revelation 1:14
Just as Christ’s human appearance belied his God-nature, so, too, may our outer appearance belie our own Christ-likeness. In his letter to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 9:18-22), Paul encourages believers to “become all things to all men” for “the good of many so they may be saved.” While we may—and should—appear like others in so many ways in this life, there is a difference in us that we should not be ashamed of—a difference that we should embrace and aspire to. When the people all around us get a glimpse beneath our veils, pray that they would see our Savior’s glory being reflected in us.
“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
by Siara Borning
*excerpt taken from Pastor Bob’s sermon, “Christ Alone,” March 10, 2019