We Saw the Word and Beheld His Glory
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). There is so much more in this verse than the average reader of the Bible may see. This is likely because we fail to notice the uses of the expression, “the glory of the Lord,” in the Old Testament.
The Glory of the Lord in the OT
When the children of Israel left Egypt and arrived at Mt. Sinai, they saw a visible manifestation of the glory of Jehovah. “And the glory of the Lord abode upon mount Sinai…and the sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the mount” (Ex. 24:16-17).
While at that mount they built the tabernacle and before it was ever used God hallowed it with His presence. “Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle” (Ex. 40:34). Almost five hundred years later the tabernacle (a tent) was replaced with Solomon’s majestic temple. Read the Divine record of what happened as the temple was sanctified. “Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the house. And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord’s house” (2 Chron. 7:1-2).
Two Shining Faces and the Glory of the Lord
Think about the events preceding Moses wearing the veil at Mt. Sinai. In Exodus 33, Moses asked the Lord, “Please show me Your glory.” The next day Moses ascended Mt. Sinai with two tablets of stone and was protected by the hand of the Lord while His glory passed by. He had been in the very presence of God and the result was seen in his shining face.
The events on Mt. Sinai shed light on what happened at another mount, the mount of Jesus’ transfiguration. On that mountain, His face began to shine like the sun, and His garments became radiant and exceedingly white. The three apostles who were with Him “…were heavy with sleep; and when they were fully awake they saw His glory” (Luke 9:32). His transfiguration was an affirmation of His Deity.
It was not just on this mount where His glory was seen. It was visible in all He did. Paul said, “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9). He was “…the brightness of His glory and express image of His person” (Heb. 1:3). Jesus said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). Behold Him! See His glory! (More next week).