The Exalted Saviour
Revelation 1:13-20
And in the middle of the seven candlesticks one like to the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot…

1. "His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow." There is here an allusion to Daniel's vision of the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:9-13).

(1) His head of snow is the symbol of eternity. It implies the perpetual existence of His Godhead.

(2) His hoary head is the symbol of sovereignty.

(3) The hoary head is the symbol of wisdom. This is closely connected with His crown.

(4) His head, and His hairs of wool and snow were symbols of His essential holiness and immaculate purity. His beauty is the beauty of holiness, His crown is the crown of purity, His sceptre is the sceptre of righteousness. The best and fairest of the sons of men have their spots or stains; but He is pure, perfect, and unsullied.

(5) The head of snow is the symbol of glory. The word "white," is shining or resplendent; it is silvery, glistening; shining like lightning, it is radiantly bright, pure, white, effulgent, expressive of the purest splendour.

2. "His eyes were as a flame of fire" (Daniel 10:6). His eyes are the symbol of His Deity or omniscience. His knowledge is absolutely perfect and infinite.

(1) The words imply the splendour of His knowledge. He not only beholds all objects, and every object, but His eyes shed a splendour on everything He sees.

(2) The words imply the purity of His knowledge. He beholds holiness with infinite delight. He is of purer eyes than to behold evil, and He cannot look upon sin. He is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.

(3) The words imply the minuteness of His knowledge.

3. "And His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace." This is the symbol of the Deity of Christ, His Divine power, His glory and majesty, His eternity and immutability. It is the symbol of His gracious presence with His people.

4. "And His voice as the sound of many waters." There is a twofold voice attributed to Christ — the voice of His mercy, and the voice of His majesty.

5. "And He had in His right hand seven stars." Stars are symbols of rulers, who are of two classes — civil and sacred. We proceed to consider the next symbol mentioned, the "right hand" of Christ. The right hand is the symbol of wisdom. God's hand and His counsel are synonymous terms: it is the symbol of power — "Thy right hand is become glorious in power." It is the symbol of honour. It is the symbol of favour: The man of God's right hand is the Son of His love. It is the symbol of comfort: "In Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." It is the symbol of security: The child was caught up to the throne of God, beyond the reach of every foe. It is the symbol of mercy: "God saves by His right hand, and the arm of His strength."

6. "Out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword." There is, as we have seen, a twofold view of the voice of Christ: the voice of His majesty, and the voice of His mercy. It is the last of these that is here intended.

(1) Why is the Word compared to a sword? The Word is compared to a sword, to express its keen and penetrating power, its blessed properties and mighty operations. It has a moral power to touch the heart, to impress the image of the truth upon the mind, to lead the sinner to look with holy mourning on Him whom he hath pierced.

(2) The Word of God is called the sword of the Spirit, because it was indited by the Spirit; because it is employed by the Spirit; because it is blessed by the Spirit, in its sweet and gracious influences; because it is explained by the Spirit — He that inspired it is the best and the only infallible expositor; and, finally, because its gracious effects arise from His powerful operation on the soul.

(3) It proceeds out of Christ's mouth, as the only-begotten Son of God came forth from the bosom of the Father to reveal Him.

(4) It must be used and improved by every child of God.

(5) What are some of its wonderful effects? There is a twofold effect of the Word of God — one of mercy, and one of judgment.

7. "His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength."(1) There is majesty in the symbol.

(2) There is might in the symbol.

(3) There is mercy in the symbol. What a blessing to creation is the influence of the sun! What a blessing to the universe is the Sun of Righteousness, arising with healing and salvation in His wings!

(4) There is beauty in the symbol. The sun is the loveliest object in creation. And who can express the beauty of the Saviour?

(5) It is also the symbol of His favour and His love. When the face is mild, placid, and serene, like the sun without a cloud, it is the index or emblem of favour and affection.

(6) It is the symbol of anger as well as of love: "The face of God is set against them that do wickedly."(7) It is the symbol, in a word, of knowledge, of holiness, and happiness. Thus the Sun of Righteousness shines upon the saint, and pours the marvellous light of His glory, in incomprehensible sweetness and majesty, upon the weary pilgrim in passing through the wilderness.

(James Young.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

WEB: And among the lampstands was one like a son of man, clothed with a robe reaching down to his feet, and with a golden sash around his chest.

The Christ of Patmos
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