The book of Revelation is replete with symbols and figurative language, as demonstrated in Revelation 1:15 where John employs two similes: “His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters.” In this verse, we find a vivid portrayal of Jesus’ voice as the sound of rushing waters. John, already familiar with the incarnate Jesus, was profoundly overwhelmed by this striking vision of Christ, to the extent that he fell down at Jesus’ feet (Revelation 1:17).
John’s description of Jesus’ voice as akin to the “sound of rushing waters” parallels the description of God in the Old Testament, serving to emphasize the deity of the Son of God. A good example is Ezekiel 43:2, where the prophet declares: “I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice was like the roar of rushing waters, and the land was radiant with his glory.” The imagery of rushing water conveys a sense of force, resonance, and an undeniable demand for attention. The sound of rushing waters can be deafening—think of a large waterfall or the roaring of the ocean as it hits a rocky shoreline. God’s voice carries an inherent authority that commands our unwavering attention. Since Jesus is God, His voice also carries authority.
Right from the opening chapter in Revelation, we are introduced to the divinity of Jesus and His authoritative nature. In contemporary culture, some might prefer to see Jesus as only a rabbi, a prophet, or a healer, but not Lord. However, Scripture’s testimony, which constitutes the earliest record of Jesus’ life, affirms that Jesus is more than a man. We cannot deny that the deity of Christ is a fundamental tenet of Christian doctrine.
The authority of the Son is further corroborated in other sections of Scripture, including Ephesians 1:22, which states that “God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church.” Jesus’ audience were amazed at the authority in His words (Matthew 7:28–29; Mark 1:22), and Jesus Himself asserted His authority (Matthew 28:18; John 10:18). Jesus’ voice is what calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee, when He “rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm” (Mark 4:39). The voice like rushing waters stilled the rushing waters.
Reflecting on Jesus and His claims, C. S Lewis popularized what has become known as the liar-lord-lunatic trilemma in his book Mere Christianity:
I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” (Macmillan, 1952, p. 55–56)It is clear that Jesus, as revealed in Scripture, is no mere man. We are faced with a decision: either we humble ourselves when we hear His voice resounding like rushing waters, or we choose to ignore His voice and go our own way.