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,[d] dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around 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.
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. 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.
“Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later. 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.
John is in exile on the Island of Patmos and on the Lord’s Day he received a wonderous vision which is recorded for us in the Book of Revelation (please note it is not ‘Revelations’ nor the ‘Revelation of or to John’ but the Revelation of Jesus Christ.)
The scene is set, as it were, here in the first chapter with a picture of Jesus himself v.12ff.
We then have some preliminary explanations relating to the seven lampstands and the seven stars which John saw and this leads us into the letters that Jesus wrote to the seven churches in Asia Minor recorded for us in chapters 2 and 3, which we will explore together over the next few days.
We are told that the seven lampstands represent the seven churches (the number seven being the perfect number and so representing all churches for all time), and that the one, Jesus, who is described in such dazzling terms, is among the lampstands, that is he is in the midst of the churches.
From this position he is able to say to each of the seven as he writes to them ‘I know’, which is at same time encouraging and yet frightening for it means that nothing is hidden from his searching gaze. As we look, albeit briefly, at each church over the coming days we will be challenged, encouraged and find ourselves needing to repent in order to receive the blessings promised to each. It will be journey of blessing if we come with contrite hearts.
In preparation why not pause a while today and read and meditate on the Lord Jesus as revealed to us in chapter one in preparation for hearing his ‘knowing’ about the churches among whom he walks.