Foreword:

Ever wonder what God might have to say to YOU today? Here are things to ponder, and things to receive into your heart. If you have a question, put it in the comments. I respond as much as I can.

A note for all my readers: I've been experimenting with YouTube videos for Bible teaching for a while, and I'm working through Revelation here. My YouTube videos are currently short studies in Matthew, and at present I'm posting videos on Revelation as well. Both appear on the blog, which is turning into a Vlog. I encourage you to subscribe to my YouTube channel for better coverage.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Who is Jesus, according to the book of Revelation?

One of the most interesting realities in Revelation is the portrayals of Jesus.  He appears in four ways, sometimes on earth, sometimes in heaven, and sometimes in between.
These appearances are all filled with symbolism; they are real, of course, but Jesus presents Himself as He wants to be seen in a given context:
1. The first Appearance: Revelation 1:9-18:
9 I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet,
11 saying, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last," and, "What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea."
12 Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands,
13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands, One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.
14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire;
15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters;
16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.
17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, "Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.
18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.

Scary, huh?  He appears, not as the man who walked among us, but as a mighty King, as the First and the Last, as the One with all power and authority, who lives forever, who had no beginning and has no end, the one who has the keys, the One whom death could not conquer.
This appearance scared John so much that he fainted, although John was used to seeing amazing things.
This appearance is full of meaning, as well.  Jesus is the Master of the Churches.  He is the one who sees into the darkest of hearts and motives. He is the One whose words are a sharp sword, and He is the One who calls death defeated.
No wonder John collapsed.
Nobody sees a vision like this without it affecting him for life, and John was no exception. This vision was given to prime him for what was to come next--more visions, more information about the end time than anyone else had ever had, more emotional reactions, more...
In some ways, it's the controlling vision for the rest of the book, and we see parts of the vision reappear later (when He comes as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, for example, in Revelation 19).
Why did Jesus do this?  Why not come just as He was when He was on the earth?
To put it simply, because He's no longer "just as He was;" He's who He is NOW, the conquering King who is about to take back the earth for His Kingdom.
For just a moment, use your imagination, and think of Jesus like this.  Fix His appearance in your mind, and then pause and look deep into your own heart.  Are you ready for Him to be the King?  He will be.  Are you glad that He will return and change the world? He will. He seeks our worship now. He seeks people who want to belong the "Now and Future King," and be part of His Kingdom.
Is that you?