12 Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; 15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; 16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.
I could spend a lot of time discussing this portrait and its symbolism and meaning. But for now let’s just describe it as astonishing! Jesus comes to John directly from the throne of God to give him divine encouragement for the difficulties that He and the churches would face. It was so awesome to John that he collapsed like a dead man. But Jesus demonstrates His compassion by touching John and says:
“Don’t be afraid. I am the first and the last. I am the one who lives; I was dead, but look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys to death and the place of the dead.” Vs. 17
I am particularly impressed with the stunning description of Jesus “countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.” He is truly a “star” in everything He is and does.
Ben Stein is an American actor, writer, lawyer, and commentator on political and economic issues. Apparently he got tired of reporting on Hollywood stars when it seemed there were more important things to be excited about. Here are his words from his column which is quoted in the book “The Gospel of Patmos” by Jon Paulien:
“I no longer think Hollywood stars are terribly important. They are uniformly pleasant, friendly people, and they treat me better than I deserve to be treated…[But] how can a man or woman who makes an eight-figure wage and lives in insane luxury really be a star in today’s world, if by a ‘star’ we mean someone bright and powerful and attractive as a role model? Real stars are not riding around in the back of limousines… while they have Vietnamese girls do their nails. They can be interesting, nice people, but they are not heroes to me any longer….
“A real star…is the U.S. soldier in Baghdad who saw a little girl playing with a piece of unexploded ordnance on a street near where he was guarding a station. He pushed her aside and threw himself on it just as it exploded….There are plenty of other stars in the American firmament…the policemen and women who go off on patrol in South Central [Los Angeles] and have no idea if they will return alive. The orderlies and paramedics who bring in people who have been in terrible accidents and prepare them for surgery, the teachers and nurses who throw their whole spirits into care for autistic children, the kind men and women who work in hospices and in cancer wards. Think of each and every fireman who was running up the stairs at the World Trade Center as the towers began to collapse. Now you have my idea of a real hero….God is real, not a fiction….We make ourselves sane when we fire ourselves as the directors of the movie of our lives and turn the power over to Him. I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters….This is my highest and best use as a human.”
Everyday we have the opportunity to appoint Jesus as director of our life. He is our “star”!