Revelation 1:12-18, 20 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 The hairs of his head were white like wool, as white as snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, 15 his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. 17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, "Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18 and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. 20 As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
We are given a symbolic picture of Jesus that reveals his divine role, power and attributes. Jesus is shown standing among the seven churches (1:12, 16, 20) with the seven pastors of the churches in His right hand (1:17b, 20; note that “angels” can be translated “messengers” and in the context of the seven local churches would be the pastors sent to lead the local church).
In verse 13 “son of man” is how Jesus referred to Himself in the gospels. This title came from Daniel 7:13 and refers to the returning son of man to rule over all forever. The clothing of robe and sash highlight His role as Priest (Exodus 28:4; Hebrews chapters 7 & 8).
Verses 14-15 reveal Jesus as God, the Ancient of Days with His hair of white wool, who is the Judge of all (Daniel 7:9-10). The eyes of flaming fire, feet of burnished bronze, and voice like the roar of many waters speak also of Jesus as the Judge.
Verse 16 reveals Jesus, the Word of God able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the local pastors’ and churches’ hearts (Hebrew 4:12). Jesus is the light of the world who praises the good and reveals the darkness of sin in each church that is always in His presence (“face like the sun shining in full strength” see John 3:19-20).
Verses 17-18 reveal the purity and power of Jesus to reward our righteousness and to expose our sin and forgive it so we can live eternally with Him without fear of judgment. The forgiveness is gained by repenting of our sin and believing the gospel (Mark 1:15; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; John 14:1-3).
Jesus knows all about us and loves each and every one of us. He died for our sins. No greater love is expressed than for someone to die for another. He knows the sin in our life and reveals it to us as we come into His presence in the word and prayer. He offers us forgiveness of our sin and the power to live free from sin. Are you meeting with Jesus daily in the word and prayer so He can praise your righteous living and expose your sin? If you are, you are being transformed day by day. If you aren’t, sin is gaining a foothold in your life and conforming you to the destructive ways of the world.