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The Glorified Christ as God

17 Feb
Glorified Christ in Revelation 1.14 - 2

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When John saw the vision of the glorified Christ, he retained no strength for fear (Revelation 1:17; cf. Daniel 10:8-12), and he fell at Jesus’ feet, as though he were dead. Jesus, however, touched John, as if to impart strength to him, and told him not to be afraid (Revelation 1:17: cf. Daniel 10:10-12). In the Scriptures fear is the fruit of doubt (cf. Matthew 14:25-31), and in Matthew 14 Peter’s fear in verse-30 is called doubt in verse-31. Notice also in Mark 5:35-36 when the ruler of the synagogue was told his daughter was dead, Jesus told him not to fear, but believe. Fear is the fruit of doubt. In Revelation 1:17 John was so afraid of what he saw, and he was unable to stand.

God wants our respect, not our fear. John was unable to trust or believe in the goodness, kindness and gentleness of this Being who appeared before him. The appearance of the glorified Christ was that terrifying. Nevertheless, Jesus reacted to John’s fear in a similar manner to how he responded to his disciples fears during his earthly ministry (Matthew 14:25-31; 17:5-8; Mark 6:48-51; Luke 5:10; John 6:19-20). He did so by reaching out to John and touching him,[1] telling him not to be afraid.

Jesus told John that he (the glorified Christ) is the First and the Last. In other words, he claimed to be God, because this is how the God of Israel revealed himself to the prophet (Isaiah 44:6; 48:12). It is also a phrase he used later to describe himself to the churches (Revelation 2:8) and finally to John in the closing of his vision (Revelation 22:13). It means that he is the Beginning or Beginner (Author) of all things—absolutely nothing precedes him (cf. John 1:3). And, he is End or Finisher of all things—how everything ends or matures is because of him. He is responsible for everything that occurs, and he took the responsibility of sin to himself on the cross. Even though he never sinned, he has taken responsibility for our sin, because he is responsible for creating us in the first place, and will work all this out in the end, according to his will (Ephesians 1:11; Isaiah 40:13-14; 46:10-11; Acts 4:28; Romans 11:34).

Jesus reveals himself as the Living One—“He that Lives” (Revelation 1:18; cf. Daniel 12:7; John 5:26; 8:58), which is something the God of Israel ascribed to himself (Deuteronomy 32:40; see: “As I live…” Numbers 14:21, 28; Isaiah 49:18; Jeremiah 22:24; 46:18 etc.). Jesus also said he was dead, but is now alive forevermore, which is not only a testimony of his death and resurrection, but it is also a testimony of God’s approval of Jesus in that his approval of him, as clearly seen in Jesus’ resurrection, means Jesus has become the long awaited Messiah (Psalm 2). This was the message the Apostles testified of and took to the Jews (Acts 2:24; 3:15; 4:10; 5:30; 10:40; 13:30, 33-34, 37; 1Peter 1:21), and then to the world (Acts 17:31; Romans 4:24; 10:9; 1Corinthians 6:14; 15:15; Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 2:12).

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[1] The act of touching someone who is afraid is seen as a gesture of tenderness, meant to offer strength (cf. Daniel 8:18; 10:10; 10:18). We often do this ourselves for someone who is grieving or even terrified over some event.

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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