17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: ‘Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. 19 ‘Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later. 20 The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches. Rev 1:17-20
You might like to read the whole chapter for context. The Apostle John is sharing his experience. He had just seen a dazzling vision of Jesus. What he sees is one “dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash round his chest. The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.” It’s no wonder he falls flat on his face our of reverential fear. Jesus also goes on to describe himself in infinite terms that can only describe him.
But there’s more. This same Jesus is seen to be among some lampstands…probably walking. Those are later identified as churches. Now this is amazing. It reminds me two verses I love in Psalm 8:3-4: “3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” Today we can put it his way: “When I consider that you are the the First and Last, the Living One who was dead and is now alive, the One who stands in dazzling beauty and glory, why would you take time to consider churches and to walk among them?” In the Bible, Jesus is identified as a Bridegroom and the Church (that’s us) are His Bride.
If you’ve ever doubted that He loves you and me, remember these sorts of analogies and that he has made His vow to us shown to us by dying for us on the cross and giving his life for us. Today thank Him for His love and for your Church that He loves dearly. For the next few days we will look at the messages he had for those Churches described in the early chapters of Revelation and we will do our best to learn from them.