“And in the midst of the seven candlesticks (speaking of the church and its entirety) one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps(chest) with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars (angels of the seven churches): and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead.”
*Revelation 1:13-17 KJV*
When you think of Jesus ?, When you talk to Jesus, When you spend time with Jesus…. How do you imagine Him to be? The one you’re thinking about, meditating on, talking to.
Do you see the pastoral Jesus? The good Shepherd, on a hillside in Galilee, tending his flock, teaching the folks.
Do you see the compassionate Jesus? One who would reach out his callused carpenter’s hand and touch the leper, healing and cleansing him from his leprosy, risking humanly speaking his own infection in so doing.
Do you see the benevolent Christ holding little kids in His arms and blessing them?
Do you see a Socratic Jesus debating, engaging in discussion with Nicodemus or Pharisees or scribes in the temple courtyard intellectually and theologically?
Do you see a weeping Jesus? Weeping over Jerusalem. Weeping at the tomb of Lazarus. Weeping in the garden of Gethsemane.
How do you view Jesus??
All those images and many others that we could see through and bring up certainly have validity and yet they are incomplete. They are out of date.
John who knew Jesus well, the friend of Jesus, the one who leaned on the bosom of Jesus,on his be, on his chest during those days, around that triclinium on the last supper.
John who knew him well sees Him now in a way that knocks the wind out of his sails. He falls on the ground as though he was dead because he had a revelation of who Jesus is today.
And John sees Jesus and he’s completely blown away. He falls at the feet of our Lord as though he were dead. He sees Jesus as a towering figure and that’s what the people that John was linked to and John as well needed to see as we’ve talked about.
Those that John is writing to, ministering to, giving this revelation to. Those who were being wiped out; persecuted by those in Rome who thought they were in control and had absolute power and were unstoppable.
Those followers of Jesus that John was linked to.They watched their brother, pastor, mentor, being carried away to an island and asked themselves what was going on.
And Pastor John would be able to say, ☺ “I’ve known Him.”
“That which our eyes have seen,” as he wrote previously, “and our hands have handled. The word of God. We saw him. We touched Him. We heard Him. We were with Him physically but now it’s different than that.”
It’s this figure that is seemingly ferocious and fierce; a towering figure, not gentle Jesus, meek and mild holding the little children in his arms and blessing them as he did there in Galilee.
This is another kind of imagery. This is jarring. This is powerful.
The immensity, the awesomeness….
“His face shining like the sun” This isn’t hyperbole. It’s the glory and John had seen some of it before. At the Mountain during the Transfiguration. How Jesus began to shine, the deity of Christ broke through humanity of Jesus and he shone like the sun. *[Matthew 17:-13]. At that time, Peter, James and this John saw a kind of his glory but didn’t fall down at his feet as though dead. And it was Peter who said, “Hohohoho! Hey! It’s good for us to be here!” They were blown away when they began to see the glory of Jesus in that way on that mountain and yet now John who was with Jesus for 3 years while Jesus was ministering on earth, who saw the glory of Jesus breaking through partially on the Mount of Transfiguration, now sees Jesus in a way as we saw that caused him to not say, “Hehehe! Its good for us to be here!” But it caused him to fall down as dead.
What am I suggesting????
The intensity of the glory is infinitely greater in this revelation than it was on the Mount of Transfiguration.
John is seeing Jesus in a way that knocks him to the ground.
How do you see Jesus?
When you pray to Him tonight?
When you wake up tomorrow morning and have devotions as a bunch of you would do.
How do you think of Jesus?
Paul the apostle makes an interesting statement in *2 Corinthians 5:16*: We no longer know any man after the flesh, though we once knew Christ after the flesh yet we know him no longer after the flesh.
Paul is indicating seemingly; I knew Christ at one time before I was a believer in Christ.
Paul was a pharisee of Pharisees. He was an enemy of Christ and the Christians until he had a revelation and was knocked to the ground as was John.
And it would seem very very likely that Paul, at that time known as Saul of Tarsus, he would watch Jesus teaching in the temple. He must have been a young man, watching, observing, not believing.
Paul says, “I once knew Jesus. We once knew Jesus after the flesh” but that is not the way Paul would say, “We know him any longer. We don’t think of Jesus as the Rabbi from Galilee. The Socratic style teacher or the childholding Shepherd. We don’t see him, think of him in those ways these days.”
And that’s why Paul who had revelation of Jesus was knocked to the ground on the road to Damascus and in the deserts of Arabia where he was schooled by Jesus for 3 years.
Paul never gives his reference, never talks about this kind of Jesus. The one
at the sea of Galilee where winds blew and the waves rolled.
He never talks about Jesus at the pool of Bethsaida and the works and the wonders He did there.
When you read all of Paul’s writings, he doesn’t talk about any of that. He doesn’t bring it up.
I suggest to you that Paul had a revelation of Jesus Christ in his present state and it was so towering and tremendous and wonderful and preciously fierce and ferocious. That all other imagery, all memories would simply fade away in light of what Paul saw, in light of what John is describing.
The one who felt so comfortable, John being on His breast and in His presence now says, “Maaaaaan! I saw Him and fell and I thought I was dead.”
And if you’re being persecuted, and your family being held off, and culture pressuring you, and your business boycotted, and life w a whole lot tougher than a simple recession that our country is presently going through, This is the kind of Jesus that would cause your hearts to soar and hopes to rise. ?
Jesus in the glorified state is a sight to behold. He is great news. Great comfort to a people that is being persecuted and put and held off. This would be a revelation that would bring rejoicing.
But what about us?
Maybe it doesn’t work in exactly the same way for you and for me. The reason I bring it up is because a lot of Christians feel that way without being able to articulate it.
“I realised that the Lord is coming back,” a Christian might say. What kind of Jesus? “Gentle Jesus of Galilee; you know, holding the kids and sitting around and breaking bread and the nice gentle Jesus?” or the one John saw?
Understandably many believers would not want the one whom they’ll fall down dead to. Not me.
I wanna be the one that says; “Lord! It’s good for us to be here. It’s just you and me here now ?.
HOW DO YOU THINK OF JESUS?
DO YOU REALISE THAT YOU’RE IN HIS PRESENCE NOW?
DO WE LIVE IN THE FEAR OF THE LORD?
DO WE HAVE REVELATION OF WHO HE IS NOT WHO HE WAS ALTHOUGH HE IS THE SAME YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER, HE HASN’T LOST THOSE CHARACTERISTICS THAT WE ALL LOVE AND EMBRACE IN THE GOSPEL STORIES BUT HE’S NOT THAT TODAY.
HE’S MORE THAN THAT, NOT LESS THAN THAT, NOT LEAVING THAT BUT HE’S MUCH MORE THAN THAT.