Do Not Be Afraid
“When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on mean 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.'”
~ Revelation 1:17-18
Sitting on the island of Patmos, praying and communing with God on the Lord’s day, John saw a vision of the glorified Christ. And the first thing Jesus said to him was, “Do not be afraid.”
Can you imagine seeing Jesus for the first time – or the first time in a long time as John knew Jesus when He walked on earth?
More than that, this wasn’t the man of humble nature that John knew, but the resurrected, glorified Jesus. John wrote that while he was “like a son of man” (vs. 13) – so he still looked human in some aspects – his eyes were like blazing fire (vs 14) and feet were like burnished bronze (vs 15).
Can you picture that?
There have been some pretty interesting drawings made to depict the resurrected Christ. However, Revelation is a book of figuratism. It uses metaphors, symbolism and similes to help us grasp something that can’t be described in earthly terms.
With that in mind, I don’t think that Jesus’ eyes were really on fire. I don’t believe that His feet will be bronze. I believe that He will be perfect, and we will be able to look at Him and know that He can see to the depths of our soul, and that He is unmoving.
Instead of thinking about the description John gave in literal terms, when we look deeper into what he described we can learn so much about Christ.
Verse 16 says “…out of His mouth came a sharp double-edged sword.” I can’t imagine Jesus having a sword for a tongue, but I can absolutely imagine Him speaking the Scriptures.
“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joins and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” ~ Hebrews 4:12
That’s my Jesus.
When He walked on earth, He was constantly sharing the Word of God – quoting Scriptures, and reminding people what God had already said. That’s powerful. However, if you are not covered by His blood, it can be scary.
It can be scary to know that Jesus can see everything about you – that He knows all of your hearts desires, your thoughts, your secrets.
Yet He says to John, “Do not be afraid.”
Those of us who know Christ as our savior have no reason to fear Him. We might stumble in our walk with Him. We will fail to live up to His standards, but He knows we will – He knew we would fail time and time again even before we were born. That’s why He came to die. When we accept Him as our savior, we no longer have any reason to fear. Yes, we are all screw ups, but He loves us anyway and accepts us just the way we are.
Look up the following verses in the Bible where we are told not to be afraid…
We don’t have to be afraid, because God is with us:
Genesis 15:1; Genesis 26:24; Numbers 14:9; Deuteronomy 3:22; Deuteronomy 7:18; Deuteronomy 20:1; Deuteronomy 31:6-8; Deuteronomy 31:6; 1 Chronicles 28:20; Isaiah 43:5; Jeremiah 1:8; Luke 2:10; John 14:27
We don’t have to be afraid, because we belong to God:
1 Samuel 12:20; 1 Samuel 12:20; Isaiah 44:2; Isaiah 44:8; Matthew 10:26; Matthew 10:28; Acts 18:9
Leave a comment with your favorite verse about not being afraid, or your thoughts on John’s vision of the glorified Christ.
“Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame.
Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.
You will forget the shame of your youth
and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.”
~ Isaiah 54:4
Note: If you haven’t already be sure to read the introduction to our Revelation study that I posted yesterday. And check back next Monday when we look at what Jesus had John write to the church of Ephesus.