On the road early this morning. Taking advantage of the U.S. holiday to head up to the homeland and hang out for a couple of days with our granddaughter (and her parents). Able to find a window for a quiet time as we all take advantage of “nap time.”
Hovering over the latter part of Revelation 1. John’s on the isle of Patmos “on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.” Not an all-inclusive resort to reward His faithfulness. Instead a reclusive desert where, though others mean for it to be a punishment, John continues to thrive “in the Spirit.”
And being “in the Spirit on the Lord’s day” he is visited in a way he never saw coming. He hears a loud trumpeting voice behind him and turns to find that he’s been given eyes to see things that are out of this world–literally! He turns and finds himself face to face with the glorious King of Heaven revealed in all His might and majesty.
The vision (1:13-16) must have been unfathomable. Talk about sensory overload! The King of Heaven radiates light from top to bottom. His face shines like the sun in full strength, His feet like burnished bronze. His eyes are aflame, so penetrating that those who look into them know that they see far deeper than just the exterior, they peer into the very heart and soul of a man. His voice carries the weight and thunderous roar of mighty seas, wind tossed and crashing upon the shore. And the ocean-like tempest of the words that proceed from His mouth immediately divide John’s soul and spirit, piercing his joints and marrow, discerning the thoughts and intentions of his heart, just like a two-edged sword.
So what to do when your natural senses are overwhelmed by supernatural revelation?
When I saw Him, I fell at his feet as though dead. (Revelation 1:17a ESV)
Yup. Seems like the right thing to do. Seems like the ONLY thing to do when standing toe to toe with the glorified Christ.
He is Lord and we are but lowly slaves of the kingdom. He is majestic, we are but monuments of His grace. Before His high and holy presence, we can only be humbled. And if there was nothing else but to lay before His feet in awe-filled fear and wonder, nothing but to stay facedown in His holy, holy, holy radiance, that alone would be privilege beyond privilege and blessing beyond imaginable blessing. But it’s what the King of Heaven does next that so grabs my attention and imagination this afternoon.
But He laid His right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the First and the Last, and the Living One. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. (Revelation 17b-18 ESV)
John falls on His face. Not worthy to even look upon the radiant Son of Man before him. And Jesus reaches down and touches him. The One who created all things by His hand, lays His hand upon His creation. The One who upholds all things by the power of His word, speaks words of comfort and encouragement to an individual man exiled to a remote island. And He says, “Fear not.”
He touches John. He speaks to him and him alone. And I am captivated by the reminder that the Son of Man never ceases being the Great Shepherd. That He is the One who, even in His risen glorious majesty, reaches down to make contact with a faithful servant and says, in effect, “Be still. Don’t be struck with paralyzing fear. Instead, know the intimacy that is available through your reverence. Know the abiding that is yours because your eyes have seen the glory.”
What is there to fear when at the feet of Jesus? He is the First and Last. He is the conqueror of death, the risen Author of Life, the holder of the keys to death and hell. If He is for us, then who can be against us? If He is standing in the midst, then why tremble at what’s around us?
Instead, turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face.
And then, fall on your face in wonder and worship . . . and wait for the touch of His hand . . . and listen for the sound of His voice.
And fear not.
All because of the grace shown to man. All for the glory due alone to God.