And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat on him was called Faithful and True…
I. To understand this passage we must compare it with a very similar passage in chap. Revelation 6., where is described the beginning of a conflict which is here drawing to a victorious end. There the Rider on the white horse, going forth conquering and to conquer, is followed by riders on red and black and pale horses — powers which were to destroy, hunt, kill. Here these riders have vanished. Now, "the armies that were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean." There "a crown" was given to Him. Here He has "many crowns," or rather diadems, upon His head. The same crown is still worn, but now it is glorified by many circlets, which have been added to it one by one. Each has been a diadem or crown of victory; each represents a new conquest over the powers of evil
III. Notice that the crown itself is the King's by gift (chap. Revelation 6:2). This crown was given to Jesus at His Incarnation, when He came forth out of the heavenly places, conquering and to conquer. He had, indeed, before that day a crown which was His own by right and by inheritance. But that crown He laid aside. With infinite condescension He emptied Himself of all that glory (Philippians 2:6-8). Then He accepted this crown as a gift. Being already King of the angels, King of the universe, He now stooped to become King of humanity. But this world, to which He thus came to be its King, was a scene of rebellion. He had to win His sovereignty, to vindicate and prove His title. Opposition had to be crushed, mighty foes to be vanquished. Each of His achievements wins for Him another circlet in that golden crown. The glory at the end will be infinite, even as His humiliation was infinite.
III. There is an old reading which makes the text run thus: "On His head were many crowns having names written," as though each circlet contained its own description. Well do we know the single words which would glitter on some of the brightest of the diadems — Suffered; crucified; dead; buried; descended into hell! Each of them sounds indeed, like a defeat, and yet each is, we know, a stupendous victory. Then will follow those two in which His triumph is openly displayed — He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, etc.
IV. The tale is not yet completed. More circlets have yet to be added. The things which Jesus began to do and to teach up to the day when He was taken up, He left His Church to go on doing and teaching till the end of time. Not until all the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ will the crown of Jesus be complete, and the many diadems have reached their full number. Lessons:
1. The duty of loyalty to our King.
2. Personal devotion to our King.
3. Each should do something for the spread of His kingdom.
(1) We ought to do it, because He is our King and the nations belong to Him of right.
(2) We shall be anxious to do it, in proportion as we realise the beauty of His character.
(R. H. Parr, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.