3:12-18 It is the duty of the ministers of the gospel to use great plainness, or clearness, of speech. The Old Testament believers had only cloudy and passing glimpses of that glorious Saviour, and unbelievers looked no further than to the outward institution. But the great precepts of the gospel, believe, love, obey, are truths stated as clearly as possible. And the whole doctrine of Christ crucified, is made as plain as human language can make it. Those who lived under the law, had a veil upon their hearts. This veil is taken away by the doctrines of the Bible about Christ. When any person is converted to God, then the veil of ignorance is taken away. The condition of those who enjoy and believe the gospel is happy, for the heart is set at liberty to run the ways of God's commandments. They have light, and with open face they behold the glory of the Lord. Christians should prize and improve these privileges. We should not rest contented without knowing the transforming power of the gospel, by the working of the Spirit, bringing us to seek to be like the temper and tendency of the glorious gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and into union with Him. We behold Christ, as in the glass of his word; and as the reflection from a mirror causes the face to shine, the faces of Christians shine also.
14-18. Parenthetical: Of Christians in general. He resumes the subject of the ministry, 2Co 4:1.
minds—Greek, "mental perceptions"; "understandings."
blinded—rather, "hardened." The opposite to "looking steadfastly at the end" of the law (2Co 3:13). The veil on Moses' face is further typical of the veil that is on their hearts.
untaken away … which veil—rather, "the same veil … remaineth untaken away [literally, not unveiled], so that they do not see THAT it (not the veil as English Version, but 'THE Old Testament,' or covenant of legal ordinances) is done away (2Co 3:7, 11, 13) in Christ" or, as Bengel, "Because it is done away in Christ," that is, it is not done away save in Christ: the veil therefore remains untaken away from them, because they will not come to Christ, who does away, with the law as a mere letter. If they once saw that the law is done away in Him, the veil would be no longer on their hearts in reading it publicly in their synagogues (so "reading" means, Ac 15:21). I prefer the former.