Average reading time is about 6 minutesAn Amazing Fact: The first and largest building in the world to use a significant amount of glass was the Crystal Palace, constructed in London for the Great Exhibition in 1851.
In those days, cast plate glass was a new invention, and when designs were being gathered for an exhibition hall to be built in Hyde Park, Sir Joseph Paxton, a famous English garden designer, struck on the idea of a large building of cast-iron and glass that would not need artificial lighting. Visitors were astonished with the clear walls and ceilings, which was the most found in any building at the time.
The first glass windows were anything but clear. Blown glass bubbles were originally flattened into panes in the last part of the third century. By the 1550s, glass windows were becoming more common but were still considered a luxury of the super-wealthy. Leaded windows were introduced in the 17th century, and by the 19th century engineers were beginning to create large, flat, clear, and strong glass panes, first used in conservatories and greenhouses.
Our text for this morning brings out the simple clarity of a child’s life. Children have little to hide and, like peering into a glass house, we simply observe their behaviors to understand their characters. Adults are much more sophisticated about hiding their thoughts and motives. Yet if we study a person’s behavior carefully, we can see into their soul and know their character.
Jesus taught, “Let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one” (Matthew 5:37). Christ’s words suggest that long, elaborate statements and swearing oaths are unnecessary for the Christian, whose pledges should be simple, plain, and trustworthy.
Nathanael was someone in the Bible who exhibited a transparent character. His life was not clouded and obscure. Jesus said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!” (John 1:47). This disciple was genuine and served God with a sincere heart. He lived in harmony with God’s will and was not a hypocrite. This representative of Jesus left us an example of living an open and honest life into which others could freely look. He had nothing to hide.
Like a simple, open child who is straightforward in his actions, so should we live transparent lives for God. Like a crystal temple, others will look at us and see within our hearts the image of Jesus.
Additional reading: Proverbs 20:1–15
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right. Proverbs 20:11