We know Jesus as our Lord and Savior. The very perfection of beauty. Perfect beyond description. The one who is both beautiful within and without. Full of glory and power. The Apostle John when he saw Jesus in His exalted state fainted. He could not stand to gaze at the brilliance of his face. The glory was too much. It almost killed John. Jesus had to impart strength him. Just think about what that was like when John had that encounter for a few minutes. (see Revelations 1:1-17.)
If you have attended Pentecostal or Charismatic gatherings you may have witnessed people falling under the power of God. When they are ministered to the power overwhelms them and they would fall. I have experienced that on several occasions. There has been times when I struggled to stand upright but ended up succumbing to the power. It is not a mental suggestion. There is a weight that presses down upon you that causes you to also loose consciousness in the moment. Most of the times when I fall under the power I will hear the Holy Spirit speaking to me as I am lying on the ground. Sometimes I would be still be conscious of what is happening around me but I find myself powerless to get up for few minutes. We (my wife and I) had an experience with Jesus that makes me believe that John’s experience was not like what we experience in a service.
One day we were both cooking in the kitchen when we heard the audible voice of God call us to come to the threshing floor. We immediately responded. The stove was turned off. We consecrated our self and waited on the threshing floor for God to speak. What happened next was unexpected. We felt a burning heat overtake the entire house. Then everything went extremely white. A very bright white light filled the room. The colors of the furniture and everything faded. All we could see was the white light. Then we heard footsteps. I saw a white robe and sandals feet enter the room. The presence of God was so intense that I we could not look up. I struggled to remain awake. Everything in me told me Jesus had entered the room. I wanted to see him. I was not going to allow myself to fall out under the power at that time. He watched the feet as they came before me. The heat was so intense my skin burned. Sweat ran down my face. I tried lifting my head to look but could not. He came over before me and spoke. When he did the voice sounded like many waters. I felt overwhelmed by the voice. It echoed repeatedly like it was going going for an eternity. I held up while he spoke and touched me. Then He went over to my wife. I fainted after that and was asleep for several hours. That day in 2016 will forever be remembered.
Now I do believe this was the kind of experience John had when he saw Christ Jesus was having. By no means was it like the ecstatic feeling that causes people to faint when they meet their celebrity crush. One does feel like life is leaving the body. John was seeing the perfected Jesus. His feet were like burnished bronze heated. That a reflected of the fire of God. His face, the glorious light that hides the Father of glory. .
John previously knew him as friend, brother, teacher and Master when he was on earth. Now when he was seeing him in his exalted state as King and Creator of the universe. The head of the church. In the fullness of His holiness mere flesh cannot stand before Him. John who leaned on his breast (John 13:23). The one who eagerly received the secrets of the Kingdom from Jesus Christ. The one who begged to sit on his right hand when he came into his kingdom. He now came face to face with Him and was receiving a fresh revelation of Him. In that moment John knew he did not truly know Him.
You see when Jesus was on earth, John and his brother and Peter were the closes people to him. They were privileged to witness some of the miracles that he did that no one knew about. They witnessed Father God testifying about Jesus on more than one occasion. At first when he came to be baptized by John the Baptist. Then on the mount of transfiguration. When Jesus came to John the baptist to be baptized by him John and his brother immediately started following Jesus.
“Master where do you lie?” They asked him.
What were they doing they were stating their desire to join his party. They were not just asking for a casual visit. They left everything and everyone to follow Jesus. They were declaring that they wanted to be his disciples.
“Come and see”, Jesus responded.
As Jesus welcomed them. John had displayed uncommon commitment to our Lord and Savior. That commitment served him for many years. All the other disciples had been killed and he was the only remaining disciple. Jesus had kept him alive to allow him to receive this revelation of him that was necessary for the last days.
When Jesus came to him. He was in full power and authority. His robe was brilliant white. Signalling his holiness and purity. The golden sash around his shoulder and waist was a sign of his sovereignty, authority and power. He was also here as judge of the world.
It is interesting that Jesus should appear to John on the isle of Patmos in this form. A very far cry from his earthly appearance.
We live in a world where everything is done to cover up all spots and blemishes. For the right price we can remake our self to our ideal image of beauty. Skin may be altered. If it is too dark one may lighten it. If the cheeks are high then well that may be fixed. If there are wrinkles that is quickly removed. If the nose is big or not shape like a certain celebrity then all one has to do is alter the body. For the right price beauty may be bought.
Jesus could have chosen the most handsome face and statuesque body when he came to the earth. That would have drawn people to him. Yet he chose not to do that. He clothed himself in humility. Isaiah, said of him, There was nothing about him to attract us to him. He was of very plain features.
For [the Servant of God] grew up before Him like a tender plant, and like a root out of dry ground; He has no form or comeliness [royal, kingly pomp], that we should look at Him, and no beauty that we should desire Him.
We as disciples I believe we must serious consider our standard of beauty. It is so easy to be caught up in the world’s constantly changing beauty standards. Countless hours and money will be saved when we choose to emulate Jesus. If we don’t we will waste quite a bit of our life trying to get the perfect look. Why? If we ‘glow up’ then we may ‘blow up’. Beauty is being seen as the vehicle to fame and fortune. The winning ticket to being a major influencer. The world constantly sells us the lie that achieving the perfect look will make us feel better about ourselves. Jesus by his example proves that is not true.
He chose to reject that image and chose God’s standard. was most important to him. By his example he showed that beauty was within. Rather than outside. What is on the outside may fade but it is the character of God in a persons life that makes the difference. It radiates out from them for miles and miles around.
God’s standard of beauty is love from a pure heart. That means Beauty had to be within. Rather than on the outside.
The standard of beauty was love from a pure heart. That meant his life was governed by the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). He was filled with:
- Joy (Gladness);
- Patience (Long-suffering, an even temper, forbearance);
- Gentleness (Humility and meekness [submissive, being easily imposed on, quiet, gentle]);
- Goodness (Benevolence. Doing kind acts for others. Never withholding kindness when it was in him to do so);
- Self-control (Self-restraint. Not given to rash actions or retaliations).
Love was his garment of beauty. The love of God was in him, on him and surrounding him. When he walked into a room people felt the love of God. The atmosphere was filled with love. It wasn’t simply because he spent many hours in prayer. What amplified the glory was the love of God. He was perfected in love so the glory covered him. Just as Adam and Eve were clothed with the glory in the garden of Eden so was he clothed. You may remember that they were so filled with the agape love of God that they were naked before God and not ashamed. Jesus was similarly clothed with the love of the Father.
As his disciples, we should strive to reflect his beauty. His love should be our garment. We must strive to ensure that his love flows out of us every where we go. It should touch the lives of the people around us. That will light will attract people to our Lord Jesus. That is the compelling light of the Lord. It is meant to be a beacon of hope. A shelter from the storm.