I fell down once, years ago, on my way back to the office I rented not far from the city center. The sidewalk was broken and uneven. I was wearing bermudas in the hot tropical summer weather. In half a second I went from an erect walking posture to laying prone on the sidewalk. Major portions of my body were skinned, from forehead to shins.
I must have felt embarrassed about it, because I immediately popped up on my feet and continued on as if nothing had happened. In the office, I tended to my wounds.
The apostle John also fell down once, but it was a far different type of fall.
In his book of Revelation, chapter 1, John saw the Lord Jesus. Instead of trying to give a big hug to his best friend, to whom he was close in his ministry on earth, John fell down at his feet.
When I saw him I fell down at his feet as though I were dead, Revelation 1.17.
Jesus was no more the humble man, of common appearance, as he was when he lived on earth. The resurrected and glorified Christ now inspired a profound reverence and, yes, even fear as the apostle faced his powerful presence. On the island of Patmos, Jesus revealed himself as the Alpha and Omega, the All-Powerful, Revelation 1.8.
Jesus loves everyone. He richly blesses his followers. He is our friend, as the hymn says.
But before all else, he is the sovereign Lord.
Let us not confuse things. Friendship with Jesus does not permit us be careless with the Holy or lack seriousness in our faith. The Lord’s benevolence and mercy do not mean he approves of any and all attitudes on our part.
Let us, like John, fall at the feet of Jesus.
But what does such a figure entail? What does this reverent falling look like?
- The crumbling of all our religious games and façades.
- A vision of Jesus as only Lord and Savior.
- Moving from fear to faith and confidence in his power, Revelation 1.17-18.
- A willingness to feel the touch of his hand and do his command, Revelation 1.19.
- Attentive ears to understand the message that Christ communicates, Revelation 1.20.
Sometimes we fall involuntarily and hurt ourselves. Before the effulgent Christ, we fall in wonder and awe, to be raised up by him and transformed by his presence.