This is a revelation from Jesus Christ… standing in the middle of the lampstands was someone like the Son of Man. He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash across His chest. His head and His hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And His eyes were like flames of fire. His feet were like polished bronze refined in a furnace, and His voice thundered like mighty ocean waves. He held seven stars in His right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came from His mouth. And His face was like the sun in all its brilliance. Rev 1:1, 13-16
Here we have an unveiling of Jesus Christ in His glory drawn from several OT passages. Just as the OT priest trimmed the lampstands, so Christ is among the lampstands that represent His churches (Rev 1:20). He oversees the condition of His churches by His presence among them.
He possesses the undiminished glory of God in His person and is compared to the “Ancient of Days” whose hair is like pure wool in Dan 7:9 (symbolizing His eternality and wisdom). The prophet Daniel speaks of a vision of a glorious being whose “eyes are like flaming torches” (Dan10:6). In Daniel 10, Daniel loses all his strength when he sees this vision (Dan 10:8,10). Here in Revelation, Christ is described as one with “eyes like flames of fire”.
The image of “feet like polished bronze” points to His moral purity as he walks among the churches that are to reflect His purity of life. The roar of His voice “like mighty ocean waves” is taken from Ezekiel’s vision of God where His coming is described:
Behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the east. And the sound of his coming was like the sound of many waters, and the earth shone with his glory. Ezek 43:2
The impression is of power, majesty, vastness and even mystery. Revelation tells us later that the stars He holds in His hand are the angels of the churches (Rev 1:20). He rules over both the visible realm and the invisible realm. The fact that Jesus has a sword in His mouth speaks of Him as judge (Isa 11:4). This king fights for His people and is the One who all the nations will all ultimately answer to. The final picture of Christ is of radiance too glorious to look at—a great magnification of His glory on the mount of transfiguration! (Matt 17:2)
This vision is intended to create both fearful awe and great comfort in believers. Fearful awe, because Christ’s divine nature, when encountered, overwhelms us just as it did Daniel (Dan 10:7-10). Comfort, because this Mighty One walks among the churches that He redeemed! We are not alone. Christ’s glorious and awesome presence is with us!