The sight was spectacular, the splendor was unfathomable, and the brilliance was blinding. No one had ever witnessed such a stunning spectacle—until John came along. This disciple “whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23) beheld the Lord Jesus in all His majesty and magnificence, and described the unforgettable scene like this:
“[I saw] someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance” (Rev. 1:13b-16).
John naturally fainted because of the overwhelming vision and then something fascinating happened. The exalted Lord of glory gently placed His nail-pierced hand on John’s shoulder to comfort him: “Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last”” (Rev. 1:17). The holy touched the unholy. The lofty touched the lowly. A sinner felt the Savior’s touch.
This is because Jesus is both holy and humble. He possesses transcendent glory, but He reaches down to touch fallen humanity, such as when He “dwelt among us” (John 1:14). The Lord Jesus is highly exalted in the heavens, but He loves lowly sinners on the earth (Rev. 7:17). He sustains the universe “by the word of His power,” but He cares about sustaining your soul, too (Heb. 1:3; 1 Cor. 1:8). His eyes are “too pure to look on evil” (Hab. 1:13), but His eyes are upon you (Psalm 34:15; cf. Rev. 2:2, 19; 3:8). He is the holy God, but He can be touched by sinful hands that reach out to Him in faith (Isa. 43:3; Mark 5:28).
Jesus abounds with such gracious compassion for man. Jesus has compassion for those who are hungry like the crowds (Mark 8:2), unclean like the leper (Mark 1:41), lost like Israel (Mark 6:34), sick like the frail (Matt. 14:14), and grieving like the widow (Luke 7:13). Indeed He is, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Ex. 34:6). He can no more cease having compassion for you than a mother can cease having compassion for her children. As the Lord promised in Isaiah, “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you” (Isaiah 49:15).
Do you know the compassionate Lord? Do you bring Him your burdens? Do you come to Him confidently expecting compassion and mercy (Heb. 4:14-16)? Do you run to Him when you are tempted, lean on Him when you are ailed, and seek His guidance when you are lost? O, believer: sing the words of Love Divine, All Loves Excelling in thanksgiving to the Lord of compassion:
“Love divine, all loves excelling,
joy of heav’n, to earth come down,
fix in us thy humble dwelling,
all thy faithful mercies crown.
Jesus, thou art all compassion,
pure, unbounded love thou art.
Visit us with thy salvation;
enter ev’ry trembling heart.” — Charles Wesley (1707-1788)
Bible Gleanings is a widely-read weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky.
Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English Shepherd), and Dot (Bluetick Beagle).
For more devotional entries like this, check out Brandon’s latest book, Bible Gleanings Volume II, which features 100 daily devotionals gleaned from God’s word: