Removing the Veil
Removing the Veil
Exodus 34:29-35 and Luke 9:28-36
When we think about someone wearing a veil over their face today we might think about a woman on the day of her wedding, but did you know that Moses from the Bible once wore a veil as well? The story takes place in the book of Exodus after Moses has come down from Mount Sinai. Apparently being really close to God rubs off on a person, for as Moses comes down off the mountain his “face shone because he had been talking to God.” In fact, his face was shining so brightly that the people were afraid to come near.
Enter the veil. Moses puts it on his face so as to hide the full glory of God that is reflecting off his skin. He takes it off again when he goes to talk to God, but when he comes back out to talk to people he puts it on again. It is interesting that he does not put it back on right away. He lets the people see the glory of God on his face first, then he puts the veil on. The Bible does not specify why he waits to put it on. Perhaps it is to show the people that he has been close to God again, which would demonstrate his authority to speak for God.
Moses shows up again with the glory of God in a story from the Gospel of Luke. This time it is not so much his face which has changed. It is the face of Jesus. Jesus has gone to a high mountain with a few of his disciples and at the top, his face changes and his clothes become dazzling white. Jesus does not put on a veil to hide his brilliant appearance, but the Scripture tells us that disciples fell silent and did not tell anyone at that time about what they had seen.
Why would they have not told anyone? Were they afraid no one would believe them? Was it not the right time? Was it because they were not sure if others could handle it? Was it because they themselves were still trying to figure it out? Does it sometimes make others nervous or anxious when we reflect too much of God’s glory too soon? Like Moses, do we need to be cautious how big a dose of God we give to others? Could it be that although we may feel close to God we need to be aware of not coming on too strong so that others maybe take smaller steps of faith?
-Pastor Erik Goehner