Blog 5: John meets Jesus

In Unearthing Joy I describe in detail, with footnotes, the day John met Jesus again. One Sunday,  on the island of Patmos John was “in the Spirit” when suddenly he heard a loud voice behind him that sounded like a trumpet. Then Jesus speaks for the first time in Revelation. John was told to write down what would now be revealed to him. John turned round, “to see the voice”, to see who was talking to him. He saw a figure that he had the greatest difficulty describing – “someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest.

At first he probably need not recognise that it was Jesus. John would have been aware of the ‘Son of Man’ tradition in Daniel. His hair was white, like wool or snow, his eyes like blazing fire. This was not the human Jesus whom he had followed on earth for three years.

This utterly awesome figure was too much for John to absorb. His hair, eyes, feet, voice and face are indescribable. The sharp double-edged sword portrays the Word of God coming in judgement. John fell at his feet as though dead. Then Jesus placed his right hand on John. This is the same hand that in verse 1:16 held the seven stars –

Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later. The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lamp stands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lamp stands are the seven churches.

John must have been mesmerised. Once, when Jesus was on earth He had appeared to John, Peter and James in a manner like this. Perhaps John recalled that Israel, and in particular, Isaiah, Ezekiel and Daniel had experienced similar visions of the greatness and glory of God. In the three years he had walked with Jesus on earth he had never experienced such divine, awesome majesty as he did now. However there is no description in the Bible quite as breath-taking as this one, because here Jesus is so incredible to behold and yet so personal.

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