For now we see in a mirror, darkly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. 13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. — 1 Corinthians 13:12
We live in a world not yet made right. The scriptures say we only see in part. 1 Corinthians 13:12 speaks of us seeing “in a mirror dimly;” the King James translated this phrase as seeing “through a glass, darkly.” It’s a good picture of how we view the kingdom, and why Jesus used the parable of the mustard seed to describe the kingdom of heaven. Jesus was telling his followers that although the kingdom may seem small now, there’s an unbroken line from its present manifestation and its future maturity.
Just imagine for a moment you held up a piece of very dark and cloudy glass and looked toward the mountains. You’d see only the barest outline of the peaks; it would be difficult to pick out the clouds in the sky, or any real features. Now imagine that this was the only way you had ever seen them. You would never know their true grandeur, only their barest outline, and it hurt your eyes to try to see much of them. This is what we are like as we behold the things of the kingdom in a world not yet made right. They often appear to us as the barest outline, if not completely obscured. But one day the glass will be removed, and we’ll behold these realities face to face, and they will be even more glorious and brilliant than the sight of the Rockies on a sunny morning.