“This is a revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants the events that must soon take place. He sent an angel to present this revelation to His servant John, who faithfully reported everything he saw. This is his report of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
Revelation 1:1-2 NLT
In this new season, I believe God has led me to consider the Book of Revelation. Not an easy ask, I think all my readers will agree, but this last book in the Bible is there for a reason and is there to be read. And the Holy Spirit will reveal what He wants us to see. So hopefully you can bear with me as I journey, or more likely stumble, through this book, perhaps revealing something of help, both to myself and to fellow pilgrims on our separate journeys through life.
The first two verses are very clear. This book is a direct revelation from Jesus. It was given to Him by His Father in Heaven. Its purpose was “to show his servants the events that must soon take place”. Pausing there, who are His servants? They will be all of us who have decided to follow Jesus. All those who call themselves Christians, because they have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. We now serve Him. By doing His work wherever we are. So, Jesus wanted to reveal things to us. Continuing, what are these events? We don’t know yet, but they will “soon take place“. This book gives us a glimpse, often in apocalyptic language, often apparently, at least to us, confused and unclear, often referring to realms unknown to us, of what is to come. These “events” can only be shown as a glimpse or a hint because we lack the understanding necessary to fully comprehend what they are. As a rather poor analogy, imagine trying to describe a modern smart phone to someone alive 100 years ago. They might get a glimpse of how valuable it could be in terms of communication, but the rest of its capability would be lost on them.
Moving on through these two verses, Jesus sent an angel to reveal what was going to happen, to the old Apostle John, now exiled on the island of Patmos. He was the last of Jesus’ Apostles, and he was entrusted to record for posterity what he was told. We’re told he did this “faithfully”. But then such a wonderful man could do nothing else. And the angel took him into incredible places, where he could see what was coming.
And then the second verse ends with the assurance that what he wrote was the “word of God” and the testimony from Jesus. I think we can agree that this last book in the Bible must be very important, and one we should persevere to try and understand.
Lord Jesus, as we venture with anticipation into this book over the coming days and weeks, I pray that You lead us and guide us, and reveal to us what You want us to see. In Your Precious Name. Amen.