There are times when Scripture commands us to “make a joyful noise” (Ps. 100:1, kjv) and to “shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation” (Ps. 95:1). But there are other times when stillness and silence are more appropriate. “The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him” (Hab. 2:20). “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth” (Ps. 46:10).
John knew that in this instance, being in the presence of the risen and glorified Christ demanded silence and listening as the response. He was in exile on the island of Patmos in the Aegean Sea, off the coast of modern-day Turkey, enduring this Roman punishment for his Christian faith (v. 9). When the vision came, he fell at Christ’s feet in stunned reverence. Later, as instructed, he would write it all down.
The vision of Christ included His appearance, touch, and words. The description of Jesus is full of symbolic images, some of which are interpreted for us. The phrase “like a son of man” (v. 13) alludes to a messianic title in the book of Daniel (7:13). The other physical features represent Jesus’ wisdom, power, purity, holiness, and glory. Incredibly, this awe-inspiring figure put His hand on John to help to reassure him.
The incarnate and glorified Christ is truly one of us—we can bear the touch of God! Jesus identified Himself, emphasizing the Resurrection and His divine identity and authority. We serve the Lord who was crucified, dead, and buried—but now is alive forevermore. This Savior, who has defeated sin and death, invites us to commune with Him without fear (v. 17). What an incomparable privilege we have to worship, love, and listen to Him.
Apply the Word
We began our month’s study in the Garden of Eden, with Adam and Eve, in a conversation filled with shame and guilt. We end it today in a very different place—in a vision of heaven, with Christ, in a conversation filled with worship and glory. Conversations with God are a privilege, one that is only possible because He reaches out to us!