Turn to the first chapter of Revelation. Here writes a man who’s seen it all. He who was once a “Son of Thunder” (Mk. 3:17) can now look back upon his life and see how the tender Master had loved him into something different. He who once lay back against Jesus’ breast, whose feet were washed by the Servant of all, and who saw his Lord crucified, is the same man now exiled and aged. He not only got to see, hear and touch the Word of Life, the resurrected Savior, but also watched Him ascend to glory. And now years have passed and the Gospel has spread among the nations; the light is growing. As persecution increases from both Jerusalem and Rome, one by one he watches as his companions and brothers in the faith are martyred. Stephen stoned, Peter crucified, Paul beheaded. Still, a faithful witness, he finds himself on the island of Patmos. Can you imagine the longing for Jesus that John felt? Surely He missed his dear Lord and Friend. And this is where we find him, in the Spirit on the Lord ’s Day.
“And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man” (Rev. 1:12-13)
Imagine the recognition in John’s voice as he declares, “He’s like the Son of Man!” He knew this man. It’s almost like he was saying, “He’s like Jesus! I know this man! He’s the one who first called me from my old life, the one who let us touch the scars in His hands after His resurrection, the one who breathed on us to give the Holy Spirit, and the one who ascended in the clouds! I know this man!”
Jesus’ favorite description of Himself, used more than 65 times in the Gospels, was “the Son of Man”. Through this He was alluding to the title, “The Son of Man”—who comes on the clouds—found in Daniel 7. His audience would have known the Old Testament prophecy and thus He began subtly introducing His identity. Yet the Gospel’s only show a partial glimpse of the person of Jesus; we only see Him dimly. The Revelation of Jesus Christ connects the Son of Man in the Gospels with the Alpha and Omega, the Son of God who ascended to His Father in glory. John makes the bold statement, connecting in Jewish and Gentile minds the Old Testament Jesus, the crucified and risen Jesus and the coming again on the clouds Jesus. When He says, “One like the Son of Man” there is no question as to who He is talking about.
With the book of Revelation, suddenly our understanding of who Jesus is expands. This is why we cannot ignore the end of the story! Not only are the descriptions of Jesus, the Father and the throne room glorious, but we see the character of God in every event and every passage. Jesus goes from riding a donkey in humility to riding a white horse with authority. He goes from being silent, led like a lamb to the slaughter, to one who descends with a mighty shout!
Take time to meditate on Revelation 1:12-17. Jesus is the one whose eyes are like a flame of fire and whose voice is as the sound of many waters. His wisdom is infinite, His leadership is perfect and His face is shinning like the sun in its strength. How can we not take time to slow down and behold this beautiful Man?