1 Corinthians 13:12
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
Paul had just been speaking of the "child" and the "man," and no doubt that but dimly represents the difference between the "Now" in this world and the "Then" in the world to come.
1. Our present organs of vision implied in "we see." These are our mental and spiritual powers of apprehension and knowledge. Through these we learn all we know of God. But these organs are weak and defective by reason —
(1) Of sin.
(2) Want of proper activity and culture.
2. Our present medium of seeing — "through a glass darkly." Spiritual and Divine things are seen only by reflection, and that which reflects is incapable of giving a full representation, because of —
(1) Its own defectiveness.
(2) Our defective vision.
(3) The magnitude of that which is to be revealed.The "glass" through which we see consists of three things —
(c) Providence.These three represent God in His works, His words, and His ways. But that there is mystery and darkness about them who is vain enough to deny? That God is seen in these we all admit; but when, with our weak vision, we peer into these reflectors, what more can we say than that "we see through a glass darkly."
1. Our future organs of vision will be very much the same as "now"; but how greatly developed and improved no mortal may know. The comprehensive knowledge, the strength and sweep of vision enjoyed by the redeemed may defy the powers of the most daring imagination to conceive.
2. Our future medium of seeing — "face to face." No glass any more, but blessed contact — actual presence.
(1) The enormity of sin.
(2) The love of God in the gift of His Son.
(3) The righteousness of God's moral government.
Parallel VersesKJV: For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.