October 19, 2015

Genesis 33:10 “No, please!” said Jacob. “If I have found favor in your eyes, accept this gift from me. For to see your face is like seeing the face of God, now that you have received me favorably.”

At the end of Genesis 32 Jacob wrestles with a man who he seems to come to believe is God himself. 32:30 says “So Jacob called the place Peniel, [g] saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.” See the footnote after “Peniel?” It says “Genesis 32:30 Peniel means face of God.” Now he tells his brother Esau above “to see your face is like seeing the face of God.” In Matthew 25:40 Jesus uses as a punch line in a story “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” It all comes down to this; do we encounter God in other people? That person you wrestle with (figuratively or literally); that person who causes you to wrestle with God or your inner self; that person who is in need right in front of you. Is God in there too? This can devolve into a bunch of sentimental claptrap or it can be a profound insight. I think I’ve experienced both. The passages above at least suggest the possibility of the latter. This week, whose face are you seeing?

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