Revelation 1:17 – “And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last.”
John the beloved was exiled to the Isle of Patmos “for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1:9). He, along with the other apostles, faced intense persecution because of their loyalty to the Savior and the Gospel. According to John’s testimony, he was “in the Spirit on the Lord’s day” (Rev. 1:10), when God began to give him the Revelation. When John turned to see who was speaking to him, he saw the Lord Jesus Christ. John bore record that, “when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead.”
Imagine what it must have been like for John to see the glorified Son of God and to hear His voice. The glorious vision of Christ in all of His majesty provoked this spontaneous response from the aged apostle: “I fell at his feet as dead.” One can speculate that John’s being overwhelmed in the presence of Jesus was the result of many things, including his surprise, his fear and respect, and his personal humility. John had seen the Lord on multitudes of occasions. He had seen Him transfigured before him, and he had seen Him after the resurrection. But he had never seen Him like this.
Seeing Jesus should invoke a similar response in us all. We, too, will see Him one day – we who have been saved by His infinite grace. The very thought of it brings a sense of incredible unworthiness to our minds. We know we do not deserve to know Him, serve Him, or ever see Him. It seems in our minds that our first response when seeing Him would be that we would fall “at his feet as dead.” We will want to thank Him forever.
It would seem that unceasing worship would flow from our hearts toward the One who loved us so much that He bled and died for our sins. None of us could ever praise Him as much as He is worthy of, but we wonder about those who never seem to desire to give Him glory. We have not seen Him as John did; but by faith, we have seen Him. Through the pages of Scripture, we have seen Him. Seeing Him through the eyes of faith causes us to want to fall at His feet. When we see Him as He is and reflect on what He has done, it inspires us to love, honor, praise, thank, and humbly serve Him.