1:9-20 The Vision Of The Son Of Man
Memory Verse: Revelation 1:17-19
1:9-11 John Receives The Revelation
- 1:9a John identifies himself as the receiver and communicator of this revelation. He humbly encourages those he is writing to by stating the areas they have in common: (1) “Your brother,” he is a fellow believer. (2) “Companion,” he shares something in common with them which he states as follows: “Tribulation” or afflictions, sufferings, and trails for the gospel sake. “Kingdom” shows that he is serving and seeking God’s kingdom. “Patience” or endurance, he would obey the Lord, no matter the cost.
Revelation 1:1, 4
- 1:9b John tells us what some of persecutions were that he was experiencing saying he “was in the isle that is called Patmos” and the reason he was there was “for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” It is believed that John was banished to the isle of Patmos. He lived as an exile there. The reason for his banishment is because he was preaching the word of God and testifying about Jesus Christ.
- 1:10a On “the Lord’s day,” which is Sunday (being referred to as the Lord’s day because it is the day that Jesus rose from the dead), John was “in the Spirit” meaning that he was supernaturally filled with the Holy Spirit so that He could receive this revelation.
- 1:10b-11 Then John heard behind him “a great voice, as of a trumpet.” This loud voice that sounds like a trumpet to John tells him to write what he sees in a book and send it to the following seven churches: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. It is said the order of the churches would be the order a messenger would go delivering a copy of this book to them.
1:12-16, 20 John Sees An Awesome Vision
- 1:12a John sees the person who had this great voice. He starts to describe what he sees in terms that may seem strange to us but they are all symbols to help us understand what this person is like.
- 1:12b-13a First, this person is standing in the midst of “seven golden candlesticks.” In verse 20 the Bible interprets itself and we are told these are the seven churches. So the seven candlesticks represent the church as the light of the world. Also, our context for the rest of the vision is in relation to these churches.
- 1:13a He first says this person is “like unto the Son of man.” We know from other parts of Scripture that Jesus is the “Son of Man” and this is a description of Him. We are reminded that He is with His church until the end of the world and that is what this picture of Jesus standing in the middle of the churches represents.
John 3:13–18; Daniel 7:13; Matthew 28:20
- 1:13b He then describes His clothing: “clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.” This signifies the clothing of the high priest of the Old Testament and points to Jesus being our great high priest. Jesus offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for sins and now lives to forever intercede on our behalf.
Old Testament priest: Exodus 28:4; Leviticus 16:4; Jesus’ ministry as high priest: Romans 8:33–34; Hebrews 2:18, 4:14–16
- 1:14-15a The next thing John describes is his head, hair, eyes and feet. He says, “His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire; And His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace.” This signifies Jesus’ work among the church. The “white” is referring to Jesus being eternal, His eyes of fire represent His omniscience and His feet of brass represent judgement. This all shows He will purify His church to make it holy. He is the eternal, all-knowing judge.
- 1:15b John says His voice was “as the sound of many waters,” meaning that it is loud and authoritative. Jesus’ voice will be heard.
- 1:16a “He had in his right hand seven stars” in verse 20 Jesus tells us that these seven stars are “the angels of the seven churches.” Angels here most likely means “messenger,” which probably refers to the leadership of the churches or pastors. They are in Jesus’ “right hand” meaning they are under His authority because He is the head of the church. It is through these men He delivers His messages to the churches.
Luke 7:24, the same word for “angel” translated as messenger. Christ as Head: Ephesians 4:15; 5:23; Colossians 1:18
- 1:16b Out of Jesus’ mouth “went a sharp twoedged sword” which represents the Word of God. It is through the Word that Christ builds, refines and protects His church.
- 1:16c Finally, Jesus’ “countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.” The light represents the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, which shines into our lives and we shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of our Father.
2 Corinthians 4:6; Judges 5:31; Matthew 13:43
1:17-20 Responding To The Vision: Fear, Comfort, Action
- 1:17a Fear: John seeing Jesus for who He really was caused him to tremble. It caused him to fall down at Jesus’ feet as if he were a dead man.
- 1:7b-18 Comfort: Jesus comforts John, telling him to “fear not” because Jesus is “the first and the last,” or the eternal one. He “that liveth, and was dead” is “alive for evermore”. Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for our sins, but arose from the dead and is alive today. He lives eternally and has “the keys of hell and of death.” He defeated sin and death. Believers don’t have to worry about dying and going to hell.
- 1:19 Action: Jesus tells John what to record “thing which thou hast seen,” or the vision he just saw in verses 10-16, “the things which are,” which are the letters he will write to the churches in chapters 2-3 and finally “the things which shall be hereafter” or the future events covering chapters 4-22. This also gives us a timeline about what is being written in this book.
- Who received this vision?
- What were the names of the churches he was writing to?
- Who was the person in the vision?
- What were the characteristics of this person and their symbols?
- What was the response to the vision?