Among The Lampstands

Welcome back everyone to Deeper Waters. I hope you all are ready to dive into the Trinitarian Commentary again. Before looking at our passage tonight, I do ask for the prayers of you, my dear readers. First, for my continued Christlikeness. I am learning more about being the man that I need to be. Second, for my financial situation, which I do thank a friend of mine for asking me about this tonight. Lastly, for an area in my life related to both of these that shall remain unnamed for the time being. For now, let’s go to Revelation 1:12-16.

12I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13and among the lampstands was someone “like a son of man,” dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. 14His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters.16In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.

Revelation is a book rich in imagery and it assumes that the reader has a thorough knowledge of the Old Testament. This passage is no exception. John is seeing Jesus for the first time in the book. What does his description tell us about how he saw Jesus?

The lampstands refer to light and worship as they were essential to the Old Testament system. Seven is a number of completion as well, which will be seen often in Revelation. Perfect light and worship reveals the one who is like a Son of Man, a reference to the figure that shows up in Daniel 7:13-14.

Why does it mention the dress Jesus has? Probably to refer to the garments that the high priest would wear. The uniqueness of this outfit shows Jesus to be the truly unique high priest, especially considering that the sash is golden.

The whiteness of his head and hair is not meant to tell us the race of Jesus, but to tell us about the purity of Jesus. White is often a symbol of purity and Jesus having a white head and white hair is pure in his authority and in his thought. (As well as everything else.)

His eyes were like blazing fire. The eyes of the Lord go to and fro throughout the Earth. Fire is a symbol of both purity and judgment. The eyes look with judgment on those who are opposed and they look with purity on those who are in good favor.

The feet of bronze could remind one of the heavenly beings that showed up in Ezekiel 1. Often times when there was a theophany, which I think was really a Christophany, in the OT, only the feet and waist would be seen. The face was not normally seen.

The reference to a voice of rushing waters would bring to mind Ezekiel 43:2, which was also quite apocalyptic. The text reads as follows:

2 and I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice was like the roar of rushing waters, and the land was radiant with his glory.

The glory of God is depicted as a person. In Revelation, this makes sense as Jesus is the glory of God.

The seven stars again give an indication of completion. Stars can refer to the heavenly bodies or as they sometimes do in Revelation, to angels. Whichever one it means, the passage indicates a lordship over the group that is being referred to.

The double-edged sword is a sword of judgment and it comes from his mouth. This means that his voice is the voice of judgment. Whichever way his word goes, there judgment will be met. We do not have Jesus meek and mild here, but Jesus the judge.

Finally, his face shone like the sun in all its brilliance. Jesus is the greatest light of all. The reader could think back on how Moses’s face shone when he had been in the presence of God. Jesus’s face shines greater as he is in fact the presence of God on Earth.

Altogether, we have a glorified view of Jesus as fully God. We shall look further at who he is tomorrow.

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