The Son of Man Vision (pt 1)

The apostle John had been preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ to the church in Ephesus for approximately 30 years when Emperor Domitian claimed he was the true God and demanded everyone worship him.1  John refused and was exiled to the island of Patmos.  It was here that God revealed to John His ultimate plan for restoration and victory. 

John heard a voice tell him to, “write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches”.2  When John turned around to see who was speaking, he saw seven golden lampstands.  Standing next to them was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe and wearing a golden sash, hair white like wool, eyes like blazing fire whose feet were like bronze and whose voice was like the sound of rushing waters.  In this man’s right hand, he held seven stars and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword; his face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance3.  John fell at this man’s feet.  The man touched him and told him not to be afraid, that he once was dead and is now alive holding the keys of death and Hades.  Considering that the book of Revelation uses symbolic words and pictures, it can be difficult to comprehend exactly what John was seeing.  I will explain the significance of each aspect of the vision. 

The first thing John saw when he turned around were seven golden lampstands.  These lampstands represented the seven churches he was to address.  In the Old Testament the High Priest would light, snuff, fill, and trim the lamps in the Tabernacle but now Christ has become the High Priest and He maintains the lights of the earth, which are the churches. 

Next to the lampstands stood a man.  This man was Jesus Christ; His appearance so glorious and supernatural that it could be no one else.  He was wearing a robe that reached down to His feet with a golden sash around His chest.  This type of clothing would indicate He was a person of dignity and authority as long garments were only worn by those who did not have to work.  The golden sash would have represented the fact that He is the eternal High Priest.  Exodus 39:1-5 describes the sashes the Levitical priests made using golden threads so how much greater Jesus must be to have His entire sash made of gold!  

See more in Part 2 (coming soon)

1, Edward Hindson, “The Date, Provence and Authorship of Revelation,” (lecture, Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA, March 21, 2020).
2. Revelation 1:11 (New International Version)
3. Revelation 1:12-16

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