Day 2: 2 Corinthians 4:3-6
But if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case, the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we are not proclaiming ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’s sake. For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ.
1. Paul is responding to the charge that he has insufficient status to be listened to. In those days, status was often conferred by a “letter of recommendation” from someone of importance. Or the rhetorical quality of a person’s speech might mark them as sufficiently wise. Or secret knowledge might give one power such that they should be heeded. Paul rejects these categorically: we refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word (2 Cor. 4:2). He tells the Corinthians who are asking for such things that they are themselves his “letters of recommendation” (2 Cor. 3: 2). He will instead proclaim the plain gospel, pointing to Jesus. It is not about him or his credentials: For we are not proclaiming ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’s sake. The gospel is not true because of human credentials or cleverness. Those who reject it do not do so based on such things, but because they have blinded minds, such as we all have until the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ is given to us by God. It is God who makes the light shine in our hearts, not human reference or skill.
2. Jesus is the unveiled light of the gospel, the image of God, the Lord to whom we are servants. He is God’s glory revealed to us.
3. Our charge is twofold: first, to proclaim the plain good news to which we have been called; second, to hear continually the gospel that brings light to the knowledge of God’s glory. We should not trust in clever arguments and skilled presentations, but in the power of the Word of God to transform human hearts and minds. Like Paul, we should not come to anyone as superior, but clearly mark ourselves as servants of the Lord Jesus Christ, acknowledging that nothing about our message or our salvation comes from us, but all was given to us by God to bring light to our hearts. We should not judge those to whom the gospel is veiled, but redouble our efforts in the faithful proclamation of God’s Word to them. They are perishing, so need no judgment from us.
4. The rising light of the knowledge of God’s glory shines today in our hearts. It will shine one day over all the earth. The gospel that is veiled to those who are perishing will not be veiled forever. The great unveiling will come, and the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God as the waters cover the sea (Hab. 2:4).