Revelation 1:14

like wool, as white as snow
In Daniel’s vision, it is the Ancient of Days (the Father) who’s “hair of His head was like pure wool” (Dan. Dan. 7:9). Here it is that of the Son of Man. John is being shown the glory of the Son, which He had with the Father “before the World was” (John John 17:5).

It is evident that His ultimate glory was veiled in order to make possible a ministry to His disciples in scenes on earth. After His ascension into heaven, Christ never appeared again apart from His glory. In Acts Acts 7:56, Stephen saw Christ standing at the right hand of the Father in the midst of the glory of God. In the appearance of Christ to Paul recorded in Acts Acts 9:3-6, the glory of Christ was such that Paul was blinded. A similar experience befell the Apostle John in Revelation Rev. 1:12-20+ where John fell at the feet of Christ as one dead when he beheld the glory of Christ in His resurrection.1

Wool and snow also speak of His sinless purity (Isa. Isa. 1:18). A hypothetical question which might be asked (on a par with the question whether Adam and Eve had belly buttons) is whether Jesus would have had gray hair if he had not been crucified but lived? Since death is the wages of sin and Jesus knew no sin, we can infer the answer would be “no.” The hair white as wool is not a description of age or wisdom, but the incendiary brightness of His glory:

The white hairs of old age are at once the sign and the consequence of the decay of natural strength, in other words, of death commencing; . . . Being then this, how can the white hairs, the hoary head which is the sign of weakness, decay, and the approach of death, be ascribed to Him who, as He is from everlasting, so also is He to everlasting? . . . How then shall we explain this hair “white like wool”? It is a part of the transfiguration in light of the glorified person of the Redeemer; a transfiguration so complete that it reaches to the extremities, to the very hairs of the head.2

eyes like a flame of fire
His eyes are singled out as being like a flame of fire . This evokes the image of a gaze which instantly pierces the deepest darkness to lay bear all sin. It is a reference to His omniscience, omnipresence, and judgment. There is no evil activity of men which Jesus does not see (Job Job 28:24; Ps. Ps. 90:8; Ps. 94:9; Ps. 139:23; Pr. Pr. 15:3). There is no den of iniquity so dark that Jesus is not there (Job Job 34:22; Ps. Ps. 139:7; Jer. Jer. 23:24; Amos Amos 9:2). There is no work of man which will go unjudged by His piercing gaze (1Cor. 1Cor. 3:15; 2Cor. 2Cor. 5:10; Heb. Heb. 4:13). Truly, God is an all-consuming fire (Num. Num. 11:1; Deu. Deu. 5:25; Deu. 9:3; 2K. 2K. 1:10; Ps. Ps. 50:3; Ps. 78:63; Isa. Isa. 33:14; Luke Luke 9:54; Heb. Heb. 12:29; Rev. Rev. 11:5+). When speaking to the church at Thyatira, after mentioning His “eyes like a flame of fire” (Rev. Rev. 2:18+), Jesus continues, “I know your works” (Rev. Rev. 2:19+). He says to the same church, “all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works” (Rev. Rev. 2:23+). His piercing eyes are an identifying description in Rev. Rev. 19:12+. It is impossible to escape His gaze! “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” (Heb. Heb. 4:13).

Notes

1 John F. Walvoord, Jesus Christ Our Lord (Chicago, IL: Moody Bible Institute, 1969), 204-205.

2 Richard Chenevix Trench, Commentary on the Epistles to the Seven Churches in Asia (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1861), 33.

Read Revelation 1:14