csibiblestudy


Revelation 1 Revealing Jesus Christ
December 28, 2014, 4:34 am
Filed under: Searching for our Savior in His book

WhoIsJesusToYou2One of the unique characteristics of my cell phone is that when it shows pictures it brings them into a clearer focus. The book of Revelation starts in the same way. The “Revelation of Jesus Christ” is the revealing of Jesus Christ in a way that makes Him clearer to the reader. I notice that God is said to give this to Jesus to show His servants or bond slaves. Those who are following Jesus Christ the closest have the clearest picture of who Jesus Christ really is. Because of this, the book of Revelation is not the difficult book to read and understand. We just need to make sure that we see the purpose of the book in all that we read. Many try to read the book of Revelation to understand the future events that will take place. Because those events are in the future, and we are limited in our understanding of the future, our speculation is often wrong. Think of it this way. When initially read in the first century, would anyone image the mark of the beast to be a micro-chip placed underneath the skin of our forehead or hand? More likely the mark would have been from a branding iron. So realize the emphasis is upon Jesus Christ. The events are important, but secondary to the revelation of Jesus Christ. God wants us to see who Jesus really is so He communicates to us with words given to Jesus, who then gives these words to a familiar bond slave who knew Jesus from a walk with Him that lasted much more than the three years that he followed Jesus throughout Israel. His walk extended to over sixty years of faithful service in which John’s love for Jesus increased in spite of the difficulties that he experienced. He found Jesus as his faithful friend and Almighty God who was with him during every storm. If the words of God given to John are to be understood, then we have to take them for what they mean. If we try to find a hidden or secret meaning to the words, then the clarity of the picture of Jesus Christ never comes into a clear focus but is different for each person. God wants us to know Jesus for who He really is. The image is different from the gospels’ presentation of Jesus in His humiliation. Revelation reveals Jesus in His exalted glory as the King of all.
Jesus sent and communicated this message of who Jesus to John through His angel (messenger). John testified and vouched for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, all the things that he saw in this vision. This message is unique because it is connected to a seven-level blessing. Seven times in the book, God reveals that there are things in the book which makes a person blessed, or to be envied. Verse 3 ends with a statement that the time is near. There are two ways involved in understanding the “time is near”. First, time means a stage of history rather than a chronological time. Second, the time is seen from God’s point of view.
John begins to deliver the message to the seven churches in Asia, or Asia Minor. The seven churches of modern Turkey shared information with each others. The first thing John reveals about Jesus Christ is that He is a person of the triune God. First we discover that God the Father is literally, because of the tenses, He who is, He was, and He who is to come. This shows the eternality of the Godhead and comforts us with the truth that God has always and will always be present for us. John had experienced this reality and confirms it. The seven spirits before the throne is a term taken from Isaiah 11:2 to illustrate the sevenfold ministry of God, the Holy Spirit. The emphasis then shifts to Jesus, the Son. Look at who Jesus is. First, He is the faithful and trustworthy Witness. He faithfully did what God the Father planned for Him to do in going to the Cross. He is trustworthy in that He has proven Himself to be worthy of our trust. He is the Witness of who God is, what God planned, and what God has revealed to man. Jesus is also described as the firstborn of the dead, the first brought back to life to never again die. This shows His preeminence over all those resurrected to life. He also has the divine right to be the Ruler of all, including the every human leader, even though He has been rejected as King today. The next part of verse five describes Jesus as Him, who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood. The verb tense for loved us, makes the actual translation present tense “loving us”. Jesus continually loves us. The term translated “washed” is close to the Greek word “freed”, so some versions will use freed. According to the context, “in His blood” seems to make it oblivious that “washed”, past tense, is the best choice. The final description in this section is that Christ has made us kings and priests, which seems to be a kingdom (or royal race) of priests, who will eventually rule with Christ. Our duty today is priestly, which focuses on our purpose of serving God, not men. We are to minister to God in a way that brings Him glory and dominion forever!
The exciting news is that Jesus is coming with clouds. These clouds refer to the Shekinah glory of God showing that Jesus will come back in a way that is worthy for a King. He will have a humble return to the earth, but one that will have the spotlight placed upon Him. Every eye will see him, including those who pierced Him, the Jews. His coming will be viewed by the entire world who will mourn. This mourning is because of the harsh reality that the One who has been rejected has been revealed as the True and Living God. All will see that they have made a fatal mistake of trusting something other than the Way, the Truth, and the Life. This section ends with a declaration from Jesus Christ Himself. First, he states he is the “I am”. John’s gospel is full of “I am” statements. “I am” is a declaration that Jesus is God. Second, he is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning or first, and the ending or last. Jesus has always been and will always be. At this point the declaration that was used in verse four for the Father is now applied to Jesus the Son. He is the One Who is, the One Who was, and the One who is coming. He is the Almighty, or the One Who holds all. Jesus is revealed as “our everything”. The immediate question we have to answer is whether He alone is the answer to all our needs or have we turned to something lesser to meet what we think we need. These lesser gods are worthless counterfeits that take the glory from the only One who really deserves the glory. Is the picture of Christ clearer after our initial look from the first chapter of Revelation?

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