For God who said, Let light shine out of darkness,
has shone in our hearts to bring to light
the knowledge of the glory of God
on the face of Jesus Christ. – 2 Corinthians 4.6
Four realities that shape our spiritual life are compactly conveyed in this profound passage of scripture:
Each of these represents a bridge to the various cultural and religious backgrounds of the hearers of Paul’s preaching. A bridge from his experience of Christ to their experience of religion or truth.
To the Jewish, the Light of God shines forth – the first of Creation and the mark of divine presence, such as when Moses encountered the Living God I Am – in the burning bush light.
To the Greeks, the Knowledge of wisdom and truth is premier.
To the Romans, Glory in Empire and power is central.
And to the Christians, the love of Jesus the Christ – reflecting and summing up each prior cultural preference listed, now seen in the face and person of Jesus.
The word “face” conveys the relationality of God in Christ, which is the sum of Light, Knowledge, Glory of God manifested as relational Love, which is at heart what the Incarnation and the ministry was: uniquely Jesus’ divine-human-reunion-mission.
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