So Moses is standing on the mountain having a conversation with God after the people of Israel just botched the whole worship the Lord thing, and after begging God to continue to lead them and always go with them, he takes this bold move and asks God this question. “Please show me your glory” It doesn’t seem like a big deal to us but that’s probably because we don’t really understand the term glory. The word for glory is essentially the weightiness of God or His essence. Moses is asking to see the personhood of God.
If we think about it, it’s nuts because Moses has already seen the power of God (Hello Plagues anyone?), and lived the promises of God (passover and so forth) but he isn’t satisfied there. He wants to see God’s person. God tells Him, “I will make all my goodness pass before you” as if to say that is my essence, my person is my goodness overflowing with compassion and grace. So then God sticks him in a rock and let’s him catch a glimpse of His backside as he passes by.
Fast forward to us now, I all to often find myself the exact opposite. I am looking, longing, waiting for God’s power, or for Him to fulfill His promises to me. The problem with this is I miss God’s person. Hebrews 1:3 tells us that Jesus is that person, “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power…”(emphasis mine). The words “exact imprint” is actually best translated essence. Which means that Jesus is the essence of God, Jesus is God’s glory! That means that the God of the universe can best be seen in the person of Jesus. Do you know what’s even more amazing? John tells us that in the person of Jesus, God came and “dwelt among us and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” We can see God in the face of Jesus, and he is not merely passing by. We don’t just get a quick glance at his backside, no, we can look him square in the face because Jesus came to dwell with us. To remain with us! He came to abide with us and demonstrate the grace and truth of God’s personhood as he loving stretched out His arms to purchase our salvation. You wan to know how God cares? You wan to see how much God loves you? Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.