There is a crazy looking man described in the first chapter of Revelation.
The disciple John is in vision and hears a loud voice like a trumpet. When he turns around to see the voice he sees this man, whom he calls “One like the Son of Man” walking in the midst of seven lampstands. If you want to read it for yourself you can look here. Revelation 1:12-18
Okay, he didn’t really look like this, but maybe this very un-artistic drawing will help us unravel the meaning of what John saw.
One like the Son of Man
Remember Revelation uses a lot of symbols so lets break this down
One like “the Son of Man” = This was Jesus’ favorite title in the gospels, so this is clearly Jesus. Because Jesus lived as a man, he can understand our human problems and sufferings.
A garment down to the feet and a golden band around the chest = This was the same type of robe worn by the high priests and kings in the Old Testament. Jesus in Heaven is now our great High Priest and our Heavenly King.
Hair white as wool = This is the same description of God’s hair in Daniel 7:9. So Jesus is the same as the eternal God. Amazing!
Eyes like flames of fire = Nothing is hidden from Jesus. In the Old Testament the prophet Zechariah has a vision with seven lamps, which are the eyes of the Lord, which scan… the whole earth. (Zech 4:2, 10)
Feet like fine brass = Probably to affirm his majesty and strength.
Voice like many waters = The prophet Ezekiel describes God’s voice this way. (Ezek 43:2) This reconfirms the glory of the God of the Old Testament now is in Jesus Christ.
Seven Stars = The angels watching over the seven churches (Rev. 1:20)
A sharp two-edged sword coming out of his mouth = A sword symbolizes judgment or justice (Ps. 149:6) Jesus is going to take care of the wicked. The sword comes out of his mouth because this battle is verbal, not physical. Here’s a big clue! “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit… and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12) If we want to have good judgement – know right from wrong – we should read the Bible which is the word of God. It will show us what is right and true.
Do we fall like a dead person before the Lord?
When John saw this shining Jesus, he fell at his feet like a dead person. This is the common reaction of people who are in the presence of God’s glory in the Old Testament. If you’re like me, you haven’t actually seen God’s glory yet. But we should be in awe of God’s awesome power and glory, even when we don’t see Him. He is Holy, Holy, Holy!!!
The great part is Jesus told John, “Do not be afraid!” And we don’t have to be afraid either when we follow Him, and take his words to heart.
Oh, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches. They were real churches back in John’s day, but they also represent God’s people throughout all history, included those who follow him today. Jesus was with his followers then, and he is walking with us now!
Stay tuned for more strange stuff from the Book of Revelation!