"I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone 'like a son of man,' dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest."
John's book of Revelation ends with the risen and glorified Christ appearing to him on the island of Patmos. This verse gives us just a glimpse of what John experienced. It was written at the end of the first century when John was quite elderly. This period of time was a difficult time for the early followers of Jesus. They were being persecuted by the Roman Empire. Because of this, even John was sent to Patmos to work as a slave in the Roman mines for which the island was infamous.
Yet, during the midst of this difficult and discouraging situation, John hears a voice speaking to him. He turns to see who is speaking and sees Jesus. John had the glory of spending three years with Jesus before the crucifixion. He had been with him during the forty days after the resurrection. But this new Jesus he encounters is very different. This Jesus now possesses the glory that he willingly laid aside to be in the incarnate. He is no longer the "Suffering Servant" of Isaiah's prophecies. He is now the "Conquering King" of Daniel's visions. Take note of the awe in John's response to this.
Jesus brings John a message of hope and encouragement. He affirms that he is coming again soon. When he comes, all that is wrong will be made right. It is a message that has encouraged Christians throughout the ages. Let this same message bring you hope and encouragement today.
Lord, problems and pain are part of life.
It is during these times we need you most.
Help me to remember how you revealed
yourself to John.
Remind me soon will be the day you will
wipe every tear from my eyes. Amen.