Useful Bible Studies > Revelation Commentary > chapter 1

Christís perfect character

Revelation 1:16

Revelation 1:13-16 is a special description of Christ as the perfect judge. As we have seen, verse 13 shows his human nature. Verses 14-15 refer to his power and authority. Verse 16 describes his perfect character.

The 7 stars in his hand are a reference to the 7 churches (1:20). Actually, it refers to the Ďangelsí (servants of God) who act as the agents of those churches, to take the messages in chapters 2 and 3. (We will discuss who these Ďangelsí are in our study of verse 20.) Christ sends the messages to those 7 churches, who receive the messages on behalf of all Christians.

So, the meaning is that Christ looks after all his people. He cares for them, like someone who holds something precious in his hands (Ecclesiastes 9:1). Even during this act of judgement, he still shows kindness to his people (Exodus 34:6-7).

The face of Christ was like the sun. That description of Christ appears previously, in Matthew 17:2. John was a witness of that earlier event, too. That description seems to refer to the glory of God. That is, the splendid beauty of his perfect character. The Bible often refers to Godís glory as a bright light.

The sword that comes from Christís mouth may seem a strange description. Actually, however, it is not hard to explain. It was usual for people to refer to the sword as a word-picture for judgement (Romans 13:4). Hebrews 4:12 refers to the word of God as sharper than the sharpest sword. That is, God judges by his word and all his judgements are perfect. A sword cuts apart things that seem impossible to separate. In the same manner, Christís word will separate people (Matthew 10:34-35). Christís word will separate Godís people from his enemies; Christís word will separate good people from evil people. That will be his great act of judgement (19:11-15).

Next part: Johnís fear of Christ (Revelation 1:17)

 

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© 2016, Keith Simons.