|The word for
“angels” in this passage means, literally, “messengers.” Commentators brood furiously over this
|• It could mean,
simply, messengers to the churches.
|• It could mean their
bishops (i.e.., those who led the churches)
|• In Jewish thought,
these could have been guardian angels
|• Or they could
simply be the heavenly counterpart of the earthly lampstands.
|This last appeals to
me. Lampstands are earthly, as are
churches. Angels are heavenly, as are
stars (in the astronomy of the time).
This concept -- that earthly things have a heavenly counterpart, and
vice versa -- is as old as Moses, as is shown in Hebrews chapter 9. If this is so, it is a startling example of
what Christ told us about “binding and loosing”:
|(Mat 16:19 NIV) I will give you the keys of the kingdom of
heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you
loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
|It is disturbing to
think that we are seeing the picture of that -- and this will be more so in
the next two chapters.
|There is one final
thought. Barclay quotes an old Greek
commentator as having this thought:
the churches are not described as light -- they are described as
lampstands, that which holds up the light so that all can see. What was it our Lord told us?
NIV) But I, when I am lifted up from
the earth, will draw all men to myself."
|If nothing else
results from our study, this should:
that we should life up the Ancient of Days -- in our worship, in our
thoughts, in our actions, in our lives.
If we lift him up, he will draw all men to himself. Lift him up!