Revelation 1

Greetings!  I am very excited to be preaching and discussing the book of Revelation with all of you.  The purpose of this blog is to discuss some things that didn’t make it into the sermon.  Think of it like deleted scenes from a movie…but much more important since it’s the Bible!  Every week, I have the difficult task of cutting things out of the sermon that do not support the main point.  It’s not easy!  But I am happy to be able to talk about some of those things here.  So here we go…

 NIV Revelation 1:12 I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and 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. 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15 His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. 16 In 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. 17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.

 I have never been to my high school reunion.  Yes, I missed years 5 and 10.  This summer I missed year 15 (but I just got back from Uganda, so I have an excuse).  But each year I considered taking the time to drive down to Peoria and reconnect with old friends and acquaintances.  And each time I wonder if I will recognize everyone.  Because time changes our appearance (eating habits do too). 

 If the John who wrote Revelation is the Apostle John, then he knew what Jesus looked like.  And yet, neither he nor any other Gospel writer give us a physical description of Jesus.  And yet, here in Revelation 1, we have a physical description.  John is absolutely shocked by what he sees.  But this description is not provided to tell us what Jesus looks like.  This is a description about who he is.  

 When I think about Jesus today, I tend to think about him during his earthly ministry, which is great.  But I don’t often consider his glorified status and how it relates to me and to the church.  I need to consider that his fiery eyes see through any pretense of my heart.  His feet can crush any enemy I have.  His white hair reassures me that he has wisdom to bring to any difficulty I have.  Let us not forget that the Jesus of Revelation cannot be ignored or taken for granted or used to our own ends.  This is a fierce, powerful, loving Savior!  And he is moving among the lampstands (churches) of 2013!  We need a bigger view of Jesus, and here we have it in Revelation 1.  For those that prefer a tame and distant Jesus, the reality is that he is painfully present in our lives (as some of the 7 churches would discover). 

 More than anything, I feel like I need the wise, white haired Jesus to speak into my life and tell me what to do.  And I need to listen carefully for his voice.  Which attribute of the exalted Christ do you need to respond to?