“‘To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze.”
Revelation 2:18 NIVUK
It is fascinating to watch a fire. There seems to be something within it that is alive. The flickering. The feel of heat. As a child, I remember sitting on the hearth rug looking at burning coals. Seeing the tar melting and bubbling out, sometimes making a hissing noise. The crackles and pops adding to the experience. And occasionally, there was a sharp crack as a piece of slate or something else incombustible shot out, burning a hole in the carpet or making the family pet dog suddenly move away. The coal fire provided heat to the room, often heated the water through a back boiler, and acted as a place where the odd piece of rubbish was consumed. But in these enlightened days, open coal fires are rare and discouraged.
Jesus told the Thyatiraean church that His “eyes are like blazing fire”. So we can see eyes that are alive, with a constantly-changing depth, full of images that vary from a roaring inferno to dull redness. A perpetual fire that is never extinguished. A fire that exposes and consumes. A fire that spits out all that is unwanted. A fire that warms and gives life. The eyes of Jesus perceive all that is within His followers, seeing into their hearts with a penetration that knows no limits. A fire with the promise that one day those who have rejected Him will see through His eyes of fire directly into another fire, that never goes out.
Jesus also told the “angel of the church in Thyatira” that His “feet are like burnished bronze”. Burnished is another word for polished or refined. Bronze that had been purified in the fire, bringing a perfection befitting to the Son of God. A purity that is able to tread on all that is impure, bringing light into darkness. A metal alloy denoting strength and permanence, never to wear out. Never to disappear.
To today’s pilgrim, the eyes of blazing fire and the feet of burnished bronze remind us that Jesus is real. That Jesus is eternal with an authority that has been with Him since before the creation of the world and will still be with Him when this world is replaced by the new Heaven and earth. That Jesus has a depth and presence not far from each one of us – we only have to reach out and touch Him. That there is a side to Jesus that will one day bring justice to this sinful world.
Dear Lord Jesus. We thank You that we see in Your blazing eyes a love and compassion beyond measure. We are so blessed by your presence in our lives. Amen.