Matthew 24:1-2 (The Hidden Glories of God’s Temple)

Recall Phil 2:5-11 and consider that although He existed in the very form of God, Christ in no manner sought to seize control from, demand equality with, or usurp authority from the Father as His head, but in humble submission and complete faith in His Father’s lovingkindness, He veiled His glory in an earthenware vessel, and then humbled Himself yet further in sacrificial service, even to the point of that earthenware vessel being ruthlessly broken.  As a result and in accordance with His perfect faith in the Father, Christ’s glory that was once hidden was seen to shine forth with an even greater glory as the Father exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him that name which is above every name.  Although Christ as the head of the Church is most often seen as an example to husbands of the manner in which they are to love and care for their wives, in what way is He then also an example to wives who although possessing the same nature as their husbands, do not seek to seize control from, demand equality with, or usurp authority from them as their head, but in humble submission hide their own glory in sacrificial service to their homes, trusting that God in His own way and time is able to make their hidden glory shine forth with an even greater glory?  See Eph 5:22-24, 1Ti 2:9-12, Tit 2:3-5, 1Pe 2:13-16,18-23, 3:1-6, Pro 31:28-31.  What tradition, like baptism and the Lord’s supper, though largely ignored today especially here in America, has the Christian church practiced from its beginning that provides a visual reminder of this great and central truth that there is a much greater glory to be had by humbly forgoing our rights and veiling our glory than asserting our rights and displaying our glory?  See 1Co 11:2-16.[1]

In what way is the veiling of one’s glory a reflection of the very nature of God?  Consider that the curtains of the tabernacle and its veil screened the ark from view (Exo 40:3,21), and when the ark was moved it was covered with the veil (Num 4:5).  The mercy seat itself from where God would speak to Moses (Num 7:89) was also covered with the wings of the cherubim (Exo 25:18-20, 1Ki 8:7), and on the Day of Atonement when the high priest entered into the sanctuary to make atonement, God’s presence between the wings of the cherubim was to be covered by a cloud of incense (Lev 16:2,13).  Hence the veiling of one’s glory is central to God’s own divine nature which is reflected throughout His creation (cf. Pro 25:2) and that we see exemplified most especially in the person of His Son Jesus Christ.  Consider then that by concealing our own glory we reflect this divine nature and thereby glorify our head: God the Father is glorified to have a Son who veils His glory and reflects His nature; Jesus Christ is glorified to have a Bride who does not assert her own rights but humbles herself in service to others as a reflection of His divine nature (cf. 1Co 3:16); a husband likewise is honored to have a wife who “seeks not her own” (1Co 13:5) but “does him good and not evil all the days of her life” (Pro 31:12), for in doing so she too reflects the very nature of God.  Because of this her worth to him is far above jewels (Pro 31:10), and she becomes a partaker of his glory as he lifts her up and exalts her as his most treasured possession, just as God did Christ, and Christ does the Church.  Consider too how God’s glory was magnified even further by raising up Christ from the dead (Joh 11:40, Rom 6:4), as is Christ’s glory for raising up the foolish, weak and base things of the world to share His glory (1Co 1:26-28).  For in the same way is that man more glorious who exalts his wife to share his glory than one who lords over or belittles her to glorify himself.  Is it not in this way that “we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit” (2Co 3:18)?

Here then is one of the most central and important principles found in Scripture that is rooted in the divine nature: by veiling our own glory and trusting that there is an even greater glory to be had by reflecting God’s nature, even if it causes us to suffer unjustly, we in humble faith glorify our head, whose glory we then become partakers of because of the oneness of our covenant relationship with our head; cf. Rom 8:17-18, 1Pe 4:13, 5:1-4.  Hence the way to greater glory for ourselves in every case is through veiling our own glory and humbling ourselves to glorify our head: children to their parents, wives to their husbands, slaves to their masters, the Church to Christ, and Christ to God.  In what way is this principle true of employees who pour themselves out in service to an employer and then share in that employer’s glory?  Think Apple or Google.  In what way is it true of the people of any community who sacrifice to establish its greatness and then share in the glory of being citizens of a great city, state or nation?  Think: Prescott versus Kingman, or the United States versus Mexico.  Consider though that whereas corporations and even great nations crumble and their glory fades, the glory of Christ’s kingdom shines brighter and brighter and shall remain forever; cf. Pro 4:18, Dan 12:3, Mat 13:43.  What does this remind us about the privilege of being a part of Christ’s Church, and what our willingness should be to veil our own glory and sacrifice our own pride and pleasures to glorify our Head and see His kingdom established?  And what does this also remind us again about the significance of a Christian woman’s head covering as a visual reminder of this great and important truth that is so central to God’s kingdom of righteousness?

1. For further study on a Christian woman’s headcovering, see these links:
1Corinthians 11:2-16 (Headcovering: Tradition or Commandment? Part 1)
1Corinthians 11:2-16 (Headcovering: Tradition or Commandment? Part 2)
1Corinthians 11:2-16 (Headcovering: Tradition or Commandment? Part 3)