JESUS, WITH WHITE HAIR AND A WHITE BEARD
Today, in Revelation 1:14, we’ll begin looking at SEVEN "physical aspects" (His body) of the vision (of Jesus) that the Apostle John received. We’ll take time to gather insight of the RISEN Christ, and a COMPLETE picture of the MINISTRY He’ll perform as the events of The Revelation unfold.
Some of the imagery may FEEL overpowering--it certainly overwhelmed John (Revelation 1:17). There might be aspects of Jesus’ character that we never stopped to consider--such as, the fiery and awesome RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENTS that are contained in Him.
However, we must remember that Revelation is A PROPHECY of God REMOVING the enemies, JUDGING them in the way they DESERVE to be judged, with the FINAL OUTCOME being the LONG-PROMISED VICTORY, the establishment of God’s kingdom upon the earth through a mighty and fiery Jesus.
Revelation 1:14--“His HEAD and His HAIRS were WHITE like wool, as WHITE as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire;”
A snowy white head of hair and a white beard is NOT a common understanding of Jesus’ appearance. Many of us envision Jesus with a dark head of hair and beard--indeed, a modern painting shows Him as rugged and manly, with the swarthy complexion of His Jewish lineage. (A more familiar classic painting shows Jesus with long medium-brown hair, a gentle face and blue-gray eyes--depicting Him as more Caucasian than Jewish.)
It’s correct to envision Jesus, in His first coming, with the appearance of a young man, dark hair and all. However, considering His appearance in The Revelation, I firmly believe that when He arrives in His second coming, we’ll see this WHITE hair and WHITE beard.
Why white? Did the horrendous events of His crucifixion turn his hair white? Was it the result of extreme duress? Or is there a deeper and Biblical meaning?
Jesus’ hair which is WHITE, like wool, His flowing beard which is like snow, has a special meaning in a spiritual sense. That should NOT surprise us!
His white hair and beard represent the PURE and MATURE wisdom which comes through obtaining a GREAT AGE. Is Jesus old? Only in the sense that He’s existed from ETERNITIES PAST, and also in the sense that He is the PHYSICAL expression of God, the Father. Jesus declared OF HIMSELF in the Gospels--IF we SEE Jesus, then we see the Father. John 14:9
Jesus’ description in the vision in Revelation 1:14 is NEARLY IDENTICAL to a description of The Ancient of Days as recorded in Daniel 7:9. “I beheld till the thrones were cast down (set in place), and the (One that was) ANCIENT OF DAYS did sit: whose GARMENT was white as snow, and THE HAIR of His head like PURE WOOL: His throne was like a FIERY FLAME, and His wheels as burning fire.”
The picture in Daniel is of a JUDGMENT THRONE set in heaven. Look at Daniel 7:8, PRIOR to the verse I quoted (which shows God as the Ancient of Days, having white hair). The CONTEXT of the prophecy in Daniel IS AT THAT TIME during which "the horns" (10 kings on earth in the tribulation), and THE LITTLE HORN (the Antichrist) are working their evil.
At THAT time, the Ancient of Days sits on His throne (in a white GARMENT--the SAME as the vision of Jesus in Revelation 1). The Ancient of Days has WHITE hair (the same as the vision of Jesus in Revelation 1). The Ancient of Days has a throne of fiery flame--with wheels of burning fire (and this is a parallel to Revelation 1 where Jesus is described with eyes of fire and feet of brass as in a burning furnace).
The similarities are TOO SIMILAR to ignore. What's going on?
The next verse (Daniel 7:10) in the prophecy tells us. A fiery stream issued from the Ancient of Days and His throne. Thousands upon thousands in heaven ministered to this great God, and tens of thousands upon tens of thousands STOOD before this great God (the “tens of thousands” picture a “Raptured” Church! Doubt that? Then compare this vision to Revelation 5:11-12.). The next phrase is KEY--the JUDGMENT was set and the BOOKS WERE OPENED (in Revelation a seven-sealed SCROLL will be OPENED). JUDGMENT is set for WHAT?
Remember the context! THIS JUDGMENT is about to fall upon a world with 10 wicked kings led by THE LITTLE HORN, who is the Antichrist! The CONTEXT is IDENTICAL to the one we see in Revelation. Jesus appears with flaming and fiery characteristics which APPLY TO JUDGMENT (something we’re NOT familiar seeing in Jesus--BECAUSE--the true Church, being redeemed, will NOT suffer God’s wrath and judgments--which are SET to happen to the world and unbelievers).
[I MUST ADD--there's an EXCEPTION. I refer to 1 Peter 4:17, where scripture declares that JUDGMENT must BEGIN at the house of God--the Church. In the CONTEXT of the letters to the Churches in Revelation 2 and 3, a picture of JUDGMENT is given. We must JUDGE OURSELVES and DETERMINE WHERE WE STAND SPIRITUALLY--or we MIGHT BE in danger of having a DECISION rendered AGAINST US by Jesus. (Remember, JUDGMENT is indeed DEFINED as a "DECISION rendered--for GOOD or for PUNISHMENT.") Jesus, with His fiery eyes sees RIGHT INTO THE HEART, and He brings WARNINGS. If no REPENTANCE is forthcoming, then His JUDGMENTS will happen. This is the PICTURE (given in the letters to the SEVEN CHURCHES), through which we're asked to DISCERN WHERE we stand. Scriptures are FULL of warnings against FALLING AWAY, of being full of fleshly lusts, of seeking worldly pleasures, while God is ignored. The SEVEN letters to the Churches fit into that CATEGORY!)]
Thus, in the CONTEXT of JUDGMENT, Jesus is pictured with a fiery description, because, according to Daniel 7:9, the THRONES are SET and JUDGMENT begins. The context of the Daniel passage is upon the TRIBULATION WORLD with its 10 wicked kings, and the Antichrist, which will appear AGAIN in our study of Revelation.
In Daniel 7:9, we saw God as THE ANCIENT OF DAYS, with a white garment and WHITE HAIR. Jesus is pictured this way, too, because, WHEN we SEE Jesus, we ALSO SEE God, the Father (Jesus, 2ND person of Trinity, is the PHYSICAL MANIFESTATION of a spiritual God).
The Ancient of Days (white hair and white beard) shows a MATURITY which INDEED comes with GREAT AGE. AGE brings WISDOM. Jesus, in the vision of Revelation 1, with His WHITE HAIR and BEARD expresses the MATURITY and the WISDOM of God.
Great MATURITY and WISDOM, which comes through AGE, is often a FACTOR in being able to DISCERN and JUDGE accurately. (Even in EARTHLY COURTS, many who are selected to the BENCH are older people. Why? Because having obtained a greater age and a wider base of experience, older people are usually the best to render appropriate DECISIONS.)
Jesus has GODLY WISDOM, the MATURITY gained through ETERNITY, and the OMNISCIENCE (the ALL-KNOWING factor of God). We can BE ASSURED that He’ll render ACCURATE DECISIONS, giving PROPER REWARDS to those who ARE DUE rewards, and PROPER PUNISHMENTS to those who WARRANT God’s wrath. White hair upon Jesus reveals these facts.
I hope these studies draw you into searching the wondrous Bible. May you be blessed with "Godly wisdom" as the scriptures are explained to you by the Holy Spirit, Who’s the Great Teacher--The One Who reveals all the powerful attributes of our Savior, Jesus.
Have an enjoyable and fruitful day.