(1.13)  And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.


1.   In this verse, John begins to concentrate on the most important of the details that he observed, the Son of Man in the midst of the candlesticks. If you were Jewish, schooled in the Hebrew Scriptures, you would now turn to Daniel 7.13-14, where reference is made to the Son of Man.


13    I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

14    And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.


Verses 13 and 14 make good background reading, do they not? Hang on to what Daniel says here.


2.   Though the color of Christ’s garment is not mentioned by John, it seems to resemble a description of the garments worn by the high priest of Israel. The girdle, which is golden, gives an even stronger clue that these are priestly garments. Let me explain.


a)   Most garments worn by Jewish men included a girdle about the loins. However, this one is higher up, around the paps or the breasts. This permitted greater ease of movement that ordinary clothes would not offer and signified a higher office by the wearer. A kingly, priestly type robe is suggested.[1]


b)   The golden girdle is different than the one worn by the Aaronic priests of Israel in this respect. Where the high priest of the Aaronic priesthood wore a girdle that was made with golden thread, Christ’s is simply described as golden . . . apparently solid gold or embroidered with many golden strands.


These clothes show us, or at least suggest to us, that John sees Christ as our great High Priest whose presence in heaven means a great deal to believers here on earth. Notice what Hebrews 4.12-16 says:


12   For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

13   Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

14   Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

15   For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

16   Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.


Because of our High Priest, we who are saved have standing before God to pray and have access to get the mercy and grace we need.


3.   John goes on to describe our great High Priest more fully in the next verse.  Let us now consider the verse before us more closely.


4.   “And in the midst of the seven candlesticks”  


Because we recognize that “the seven candlesticks” are not literally the 7 churches of Asia, but symbolically represent the 7 churches of Asia, let us also recognize that the Lord Jesus Christ is not literally in the midst of the churches, but is represented as being “in the midst of the seven candlesticks” in an obviously symbolic way. This use of symbolic language is for the purpose of reminding John’s readers of the continual interest and involvement of the Lord Jesus Christ in His church’s affairs and well-being.


5.   “one like unto the Son of man


As we have already seen, this phrase reminds us of Daniel 7.13. According to the gospels, “Son of man” is the title Christ used most often of Himself during His earthly ministry (81 times in the gospels). Taken from the heavenly vision in Daniel 7.13, it is an implied claim to deity.[2]


To see the contrast between Christ’s two titles, “Son of God” and “Son of man,” turn to John 5.25 and 27:


25   Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

27   And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.


6.   “clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle


This description is a symbolic representation of the attributes of Christ in special relationship to the events which are portrayed in the book of Revelation. His being clothed with a garment to His feet is best explained by the clothing of a priest and judge, like Aaron’s robe being designed “for glory and beauty” (Exodus 28:2). The golden girdle corresponds to that used by the high priest to bind his garments higher on the body than at the loins. Josephus, a first century Jewish general and historian,[3] explains this as being in keeping with the dignity and majesty of the high priest and as being designed to allow greater freedom in movement. The golden girdle corresponds to the girdle of the high priest, which has golden thread in it, but here it is made entirely of gold. The somber presence of Christ in His role as judge and priest in the midst of the churches is a significant introduction to chapters 2 and 3.[4]


[1]  Gerhard Albert Raske, A Complete Grammatical Blueprint Of The Book Of Revelation, (Simcoe, Ontario: Fundamental Baptist Publishing House Canada, 1996)

[2]  See footnote for Revelation 1.13, John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible, (Nashville: Word Publishing, 1997), page 1993.

[3]  Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, (New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1996), page 1034.

[4]  John Walvoord, The Revelation Of Jesus Christ, (Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1966), page 44.

Home   Sermons   Sermon Outlines  Who Is God?   God's Word   Tracts   Q & A   Feedback