In the middle of the lampstands I saw someone who looked like the Human One. He wore a robe that stretched down to his feet, and he had a gold sash around his chest. His head and hair were white as white wool—like snow—and his eyes were like a fiery flame. His feet were like fine brass that has been purified in a furnace, and his voice sounded like rushing water. He held seven stars in his right hand, and from his mouth came a sharp, two-edged sword. His appearance was like the sun shining with all its power.
When I saw him, I fell at his feet like a dead man. But he put his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m the first and the last, and the living one. I was dead, but look! Now I’m alive forever and always. I have the keys of Death and the Grave. So write down what you have seen, both the scene now before you and the things that are about to unfold after this. As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and the seven gold lampstands, here is what they mean: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
This is such a strange vision of Jesus, unlike anything else we see in scripture outside of other prophet’s visions of God’s throne room in heaven. He a tongue which is a shape sword with two edges! This seems to be a clear sign John’s story is a metaphor, it’s meant to be understood as a story about a deeper truth God provides us.
I wonder what John felt like when he saw Jesus? What about when Jesus put his hands on John? What do you wonder about?
What is the deeper truth about Jesus John’s vivid pictures is supposed to reveal to us?
Jesus, when we see you for the first time, it will be hard to stand on our own two feet. We’ve never seen a person as bright and beautiful – and in charge – as you! And yet you care about us. Our present and our future are safe with you. Amen.