Today we finish chapter 1 of The Revelation as we turn our eyes to the vision that John saw of Jesus, but first, I want to announce the name of the winner of my January drawing. You will recall that I am giving a small gift to one person who commented in January. I put all the names of everyone who commented in January in a random number generator and the winner is………………. REN who commented on 6 January.
Please email me your mailing address, Ren, and I will get your gift in the mail to you. Thank you to Ren and everyone who engaged in January. We will do it all again in February, so engage in the comments section as often as you can and increase your chances of winning. Now, let’s get into our study.
John, a man in his 90s, is exiled to the island of Patmos because he preached the gospel of Jesus Christ. He is the last remaining disciple, and likely feels certain that his life will end on Patmos. He is the self-described ‘disciple that Jesus loves’, and has been faithful to His Lord. In our focal passage today, we see Jesus giving John a glimpse of Himself…the risen, reigning Lord. What a precious reward for John’s faithfulness to Christ! Let’s join John on Patmos. Revelation 1:12-20 (ESV)
12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands,
13 and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest.
14 The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire,
15 his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters.
16 In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.
17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last,
18 and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.
19 Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this.
20 As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
There is a LOT in these eight verses, so I’m going to drill down and choose to address some of it (verses 12-16), and leave some until we move into chapters 2 and 3 (verses 17-20).
Let’s begin by considering that John said that the man in the vision was ‘one like a son of man’. This is important wording. In the Old Testament the phrase ‘son of man’ almost always described a human. (Here are just a few references: Numbers 23:19, Job 16:21, Psalm 8:4, and literally all throughout the book of Ezekiel)
In the New Testament, however, this ‘son of man’ phrase was Jesus’ favorite way in which to describe Himself. (Again, just a few of the numerous times Jesus used this phrase: Matthew 17:9; 24:27, Luke 12:10; 19:10, John 3:14) Jesus used this phrase, I believe, to identify Himself, not as God, but as a man. A man who fully understands the human condition, yet never loses His divinity.
Now, let us look at the descriptors John used for Jesus:
- Clothed with a long robe and a golden sash around his chest
- Hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow
- Eyes like a flame of fire
- Feet like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace
- Voice like the roar of many waters
- Seven stars in his right hand
- Sharp two-edged sword from his mouth
- Face like the sun shining in full strength
This is quite a vision, and it is no wonder John fell as if dead!
Let’s break it down and see what all of it might mean.
The clothing that Jesus wore was that of a king (robe) and a priest (Exodus 28:4), pointing to Jesus’ eternal roles. He is our soon-coming King, and He sits at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us.
The white hair speaks of holiness, wisdom and purity, while the flaming eyes speak of a penetrating gaze that misses nothing, and judges accordingly. The feet of brass indicate divine judgment, while the voice is one of power and authority.
From Christ’s mouth comes a sharp two-edged sword, which is the Word of God that gives truth and exacts judgment. His face, shining like the sun tells of the burning intensity of His truth, and the seven stars in His right hand speak of control.
Truly this is a vision of Jesus in all His glory; the way that we will see Him when He returns to rule and reign. That should be cause for rejoicing.
That is it for today, and for chapter 1. Next week we will begin our visits with the seven churches of Revelation 2 and 3. Now, it is time to engage.
- As you consider the vision of Christ that John saw, which of the descriptors means the most to you in this stage of your life?
- Was there anything from today’s study that will strengthen your faith for The End and for today?
I promised you a FREE PRINTABLE at the end of each chapter of Revelation. Here is the one for Chapter 1. I hope it helps you recall what we studied and solidify the important points from Chapter 1 in your heart. Click on the link below to download and print.