Bible Society of South Africa
Gerhard Lindeque

Seven days of inspiration from Revelation - Day 3

It is I! Don’t be afraid

Bible text(s)

A Vision of Christ

9I am John, your brother, and as a follower of Jesus I am your partner in patiently enduring the suffering that comes to those who belong to his Kingdom. I was put on the island of Patmos because I had proclaimed God's word and the truth that Jesus revealed. 10On the Lord's day the Spirit took control of me, and I heard a loud voice, that sounded like a trumpet, speaking behind me. 11It said, “Write down what you see, and send the book to the churches in these seven cities: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.”

12I turned round to see who was talking to me, and I saw seven gold lampstands, 13and among them there was what looked like a human being, wearing a robe that reached to his feet, and a gold belt round his chest. 14His hair was white as wool, or as snow, and his eyes blazed like fire; 15his feet shone like brass that has been refined and polished, and his voice sounded like a roaring waterfall. 16He held seven stars in his right-hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came out of his mouth. His face was as bright as the midday sun. 17When I saw him, I fell down at his feet like a dead man. He placed his right-hand on me and said, “Don't be afraid! I am the first and the last. 18I am the living one! I was dead, but now I am alive for ever and ever. I have authority over death and the world of the dead. 19Write, then, the things you see, both the things that are now and the things that will happen afterwards. 20This is the secret meaning of the seven stars that you see in my right-hand, and of the seven gold lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

Revelation 1:9-20GNBOpen in Bible reader

John finds himself on the island of Patmos. His seclusion on the island depicts the suffering that believers of all times must endure. Just as Jesus Christ was rejected, so will his followers be. The world will always try to silence the voice of the church. John is, nevertheless, carried away in the Spirit. With this, we are assured that we can experience the presence of God’s Spirit everywhere.

We experience God’s presence, among other things, on the Lord’s day – on a Sunday – when believers gather to celebrate Jesus Christ’s resurrection. On this day, God still speaks to his church through his word, in a special way. The church is called the seven congregations and is represented as seven lampstands. After all, the church must be the light for the world.

In this passage, as in the Gospels, Jesus Christ is referred to as someone who looks like the Son of Man. The description of his appearance does not have to be explained in detail. It only emphasises Jesus Christ’s glory and authority after his resurrection from the dead. The consolation for the church is that Jesus Christ is the Living One and that he is with his church. The images used have a double consolation for the church. The image of the sword from the mouth assures us that Jesus Christ is speaking to his church from heaven. He rules his church like a king with his sceptre in his right hand and, at the same time, he protects his church, the seven stars.

Jesus Christ’s divinity is evident from these words: “It is I! Don’t be afraid”. With these words, God reassures his church. Jesus Christ has conquered death. He is with us through his word and Spirit.

Think about:

  1. 1.How is the voice of the church silenced today?
  2. 2.Where do you experience God’s presence?

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