We may all have different images of who Jesus is and what he looks like. I think sometimes those different images help us in developing our relationship with him. I know in prayer, there are times when I try to envision His presence in the room with me, like we are in conversation. When I do this, it can bring a sense of deeper relationship and greater sense of his presence, even if it is my imagination at work. I’ve started to have a deeper appreciation, with the help of CS Lewis, for how God can speak to us through our imagination, but that’s for another blog.
In my prayer time this morning, one of the daily Scripture readings was from the book of Revelation. I’ve come to understand the Book of Revelation to offer tremendous hope in the face of tribulation, so spending time in this book is often challenging yet inspiring. The passage this morning was from Revelation 1:4-20. In reading through, an image of Jesus appears that is not one that we often imagine, outside of His transfiguration.
I think mostly when we imagine Jesus, we see someone who looks much like us. In some ways that may be comforting, and help us see him as our friend. When we do this, we tend to see him mostly as our savior, the one who sacrificed himself for our sake on the cross so that we might have eternal life. This is an important aspect of the person and work of Jesus Christ, that I wouldn’t ever want to diminish. Yet, do we see Jesus as Lord?
The image of Jesus in Revelation 1:4-20 is startling and magnificent. It is Jesus as eternal King! Yet, in this same passage this Jesus who is the eternal and risen King, also reaches down to touch John to say “do not be afraid.”
How does this image of Jesus stir our understanding of what it means to be His disciple? Do we serve the church, or is the church the people who serve this risen Lord and King?