Hey, what is the weight of glory? That’s a very weird question right? But surprisingly, the Hebrew word kabod, which means “glory” in English, has a root meaning of “weight” or “heaviness.” This suggests that glory has something to do with weight, which is supported by verses like 2 Corinthians 4:17, which refers to the “weight of glory.” But what exactly do we mean when we say glory has to do with weight or heaviness? Hang with me, this’ll only take a moment, okay?

When Jesus used the parable of the sower and the soils to explain why some people don’t accept the gospel, he depicted those people to be choked out by the “cares of the world” (Matt. 13:22). Sounds familiar? There are certain things we aspire to accomplish or achieve. There are potential problems we’re terrified of, as well as actual problems we’re dealing with. The gospel can appear distant, even unreal, when compared to the actual, everyday issues that dominate our minds. The cares of this world can choke out God’s promises, preventing a deep, nutritious, anchored, and life-giving embrace.

When God’s promises are fresh in our minds and warm in our hearts, life’s challenges are pale in comparison to what we have in Christ. It’s not as if the problems vanish or that we pretend they don’t exist. They just can’t compare to what we’ve been promised.

Paul weighs in on this in 2 Corinthians 4:16–18: So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Paul does not attempt to rationalize away suffering as we would. Suffering isn’t his main concern. He wants us to focus on the splendour. He wants us to feel the weight of it in our hearts. His message isn’t that our issues are little or even transient. It’s because they’re insignificant and fleeting in comparison to the eternal weight of glory. Paul can say what he says because his gaze is set on the promises of what he can’t yet see, not on what he can see.

Imagine the justice scales hanging equally when they’re empty. Imagine the world’s sin, pain, and burdens piled on the left, and God’s glory placed on the right. The temporal world, like a mote of dust beside a bar of gold, pales in comparison to God’s eternal glory. Glory that is not ephemeral, but immortal. It’s not vaporous, but it’s substantial. Joy that is complete and lasting, not fragmented and transitory. Because whatever grandeur there may be, it is determined by the presence of God himself, without whom nothing good can exist.

Paul’s exhortation to fix our gaze on the eternal, to feel the weight of glory God has prepared for those who are in Christ, is not a command to bury our heads in the sand. It’s not naive, unrealistic, or escapist. It’s a call based on the macabre reality of existence in the world and it’s a call that has the ability to set us free, to appreciate, invest in, and celebrate the goodness of what God has given us while we wait for him to make everything fresh. We can save money for a certain period of time, but we cannot take it with us. In fact, things get stolen, burned, moth-eaten, rusted, or spoilt in our world. But, like Mary of Bethany, we have the option of choosing what is better—the one thing “that shall not be taken away” (Luke 10:42). We should strive to “send on ahead” the real wealth.
What is the weight of it? Everything.

Categories: Glory

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