January 30 2022
Today, Sunday January 30
“One Like the Son of Man” Revelation 1:12-16 “Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.
I’m not sure that the picture most of us have in our minds of Jesus is really anything like the real Jesus! Most of us picture Jesus the way we saw Him in Sunday school pictures when we were children. He had a dark complexion, was tall, had long hair, had a lamb under His arm and He was knocking on a door. He appeared to be very kind and gracious and you could see the love in His eyes. He was also wearing long flowing colorful garments. Honestly we don’t really know what Jesus looked like physically while He ministered here on earth. It’s interesting, I’m not even sure I’ve ever read a physical description of Jesus given in the Gospel by His disciples.
But here in Revelation, John gives us a very vivid description of Jesus as He experienced Him appearing to him in his exile on the Isle of Patmos. John calls Jesus “One like the Son of Man”. This title of Jesus was one that Jesus used to identify Himself in His ministry more than any other! (See Luke’s Gospel) Christ's garments are those of a Judge-King, One with honor and authority.
The white hair symbolizes His eternality. Remember Daniel the prophet saw "the Ancient of Days" in his vision in Daniel 7 and gave a similar description of Him. "I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, Its wheels a burning fire…” (Daniel 7:9) Later Daniel again saw Jesus in another vision and called Him by the same name John did. "I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him.” (Daniel 7:13)
His eyes are “like a flame of fire”! Probably just the opposite of what we have in our mind of the eyes of Jesus. We believe this means that the eyes of Jesus sees everything! This enables Him to judge righteously. John gives this same description of Jesus when He comes back the earth at the end of the tribulation in Revelation 19:12: “His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself.”
John saw the feet the “Son of Man” as if they were “like fine brass as if refined in a furnace”. This also suggest judgment, since the brazen altar was the place where the fire consumed the sin offering. The Lord had come to judge the churches, and He would also judge the evil world system.
Now John hears His voice as “the sound of many waters". This makes us think of Niagara Falls! Perhaps two ideas are suggested here: First, Christ gathers together all the "streams of revelation" and He is the Father's "last Word" to man (Hebrews 1:1-3). Second, He speaks with power and authority and must be heard. The sword from His mouth certainly represents the living Word of God (Hebrews 4:12; Ephesians 6:17). He fights His enemies by using His Word (Revelation 2:16; 19:19-21).
This vision of Christ was totally different in appearance from the Savior that John knew "in the flesh" when He was ministering on earth. He was not the "gentle Jewish carpenter" that sentimentalists like to sing about. He is the risen, glorified, exalted Son of God, the Priest-King who has the authority to judge all men, beginning with His own people (1 Peter 4:17). Have we ever seen Jesus this way? Perhaps not, but one day we will!