Wednesday, May 7, 2014

THE VEIL SHALL BE TAKEN AWAY

Paul describes one change that must take place before any other change is possible:

"Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: and not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: but their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which veil is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart. Nevertheless, when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away” (2 Corinthians 3:12-16).

In this passage, Paul is talking primarily about the blindness of the Jews concerning Jesus as the Messiah. Yet he is also laying down a principle that applies to all people, Jew or Gentile. He is talking about blindness to biblical truth. Note verse 14: “But their minds were blinded.”

Please understand, the people Paul wrote to were sincere. They faithfully studied the books of Moses, the Law and prophets, the psalms of David. They revered God’s Word, teaching from it and quoting it freely. But there was still a veil over their eyes.

We think of a spiritual veil covering the eyes of Jews, Muslims and others, blinding them to the truth about Jesus. Yet there is also a veil blinding the eyes of many believers. They read God’s clear warnings in Scripture, they hear them preached with power—yet they’re still not affected. In fact, they continue doing the very things they hear God’s Word renounce.

Paul says that before our blindness can be removed, we must turn to the Lord. “Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away” (2 Corinthians 3:16). The Greek word for turn here means “to reverse course.” In short, Paul is saying, “You have to admit that the course you’re taking has brought you to emptiness, ruin, despair.”

If your life is in some kind of turmoil—if something is terribly wrong, and things are deteriorating—you know you’re going to have to change course. You may think, “It’s my husband who’s in a bad place. I’m waiting for him to change.” Or, “My wife is headed for ruin unless she changes.” Or, “My boss is all wrong. Something has to change in him.” We so clearly see the mistakes and wrongdoings of others, yet we are blind to our own need for change. We need to admit to God, “It’s me, Lord. I’m the one who needs to change. Please, Father, show me where I’ve gone wrong.”