I was visiting a church recently and was advertised the week before as ‘Paul Hudson will be speaking next Sunday!’ Now for those who are not northerners in England, Paul Hudson is very famous, he is the BBC Weatherman. So when I turned up at this particular church one member was very disappointed that I looked nothing like Paul Hudson!
It wasn’t really a mistaken identity because one look at me and you know I am obviously an alias Paul Hudson!
Maybe you have a story of mistaken identity?
Wouldn’t it be amazing to be mistaken for Jesus?
In these next verses some have thought it was Jesus that John saw. Remember how the 6th trumpet has been blown and a third of the world has been killed and the rest won’t repent. We are waiting for the 7th trumpet and this is something of an interlude where we see 2 events taking place; the angel and the little scroll; and the 2 witnesses.
“Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven. He was robed in a cloud, with a rainbow above his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs were like fiery pillars.” (Revelation 10 v 1)
John saw another mighty angel. Jesus cannot in anyway be described as ‘another’.
Gabriel means ‘mighty one’ so it could be him. But it doesn’t matter. It was another mighty angel. What does matter is his description and what he brings as he comes down from heaven. (In his vision John often moves around. For example he has moved from the throne room to below heaven now as the mighty angel comes down)
- He is robed in a cloud: We will read soon in 11:10 “Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on.” The angels coat being a cloud describes the presence of God
- A rainbow above his head: This symbol is well-known in the UK now not because of the LGBTQ+ who adopted it but because during the pandemic it was the symbol of our NHS who saved lives. It is of course the Biblical sign for mercy. Despite the sin of the earth God’s mercy is hovering and protecting a remnant.
- His face was like the sun: It’s true that Jesus’ “face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.” (1:16) but it only shows that this angel’s face is glowing because of being in the presence of God. It speaks of the glory and majesty of God.
- His legs were like fiery pillars: This could be a description of God’s judgment, holiness and purpose. Remember this? “By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.” (Exodus 13:21)
Mistaken for Jesus. I don’t think this mighty angel was Jesus but I do think the angel looked like Him.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if our churches were mistaken for Jesus?
Can you imagine the world seeing the presence and the glory and majesty of God? Can you imagine the world experiencing grace and mercy over the judgment and purpose of God for the earth?
That must be our prayer.
Let there be a mistaken identity.
Let the world see Jesus in me.