Eyes like Flame

David Bast

Read: Revelation 2:18; Matthew 17:1-8

. . . the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire. (Rev. 2:18)

When I was a pastor, my church had to fill out an annual report to our classis. In Reformed churches, the classis is the local assembly to which each congregation is accountable. So the classis needed to know what was going on with our church: how we were doing, whether we needed help—or perhaps correction. Jesus didn’t need any annual reports from his churches. The first words he spoke to each of the seven churches was, “I know.” Whatever is happening, whatever the church is doing or not doing, the Lord knows all about it, the good and the bad. He sees it all.

Why did Jesus’ eyes flash with fire? So that “all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works” (Rev. 2:23). Jesus is not a passive observer. His searching gaze leads to judgment for everyone.

This is the only place in Revelation where the title “Son of God” is given to Jesus. But John had heard it before, long before, during the preview of Jesus’ glory he saw on the Mount of Transfiguration. “And a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him’ ” (Matt. 17:5).

So when Jesus looks at us, and maybe through us, and calls us to repent or commands us to hold on, listen to him.—David Bast

As you pray, ask the Lord what he wants you to listen to.