John hears the voice, thundering like the crash of waterfalls blending with the blast of trumpets. His eyes burst wide like exploding fireworks as he turns and glimpses the one behind him. The stranger’s face shining like a thousand suns at noon. Yet John knows instantly, this is no stranger, this is the one who walked on the waves and knelt in the gutters. The one who wept with mourners and raised the dead. The one who knows life and death, loss and resurrection. The one who began everything and will see things through to a new tomorrow. The one who was there before anything else. The one with the power to create and dismiss worlds. John falls on his face, feels the grit of the ground dragging on his cheeks. He wants to hide, to flee, to run for cover. He’s never been more aware of his inadequacy, his frailty, his lack of qualifications. Surely this is the end for him. A moment of unbearable tension crawls by. He waits, pushes his face deeper into the dirt. Feels the sharp stones imprinting his skin. Then he feels something else… a hand, gently resting on his shoulder, and he hears that thunderous voice speak again, the cadence softly falling and rising. ‘Don’t be afraid.’
John dares lift his face. Blinks. Extraordinary. This Man, this Son of God, this all-powerful one, beckons to him to stand. To put away his fear. ‘Don’t be afraid,’ he says again. And in his spirit John senses something. He can put away his fear for good, not because Jesus is not all powerful, but because he is full of compassion. Not because he could not dismiss John in a split second, but because he does not wish to. He smiles and John knows, Jesus has come to bring help, not harm.
Revelation 1 vv 10-18