The style and content of Revelation keep people away from it. It’s hard to figure out what symbols mean, who the characters are, and when and where the events being described are happening. Revelation is not regularly read or preached, and that is not a good thing.
The Book of Revelation is God’s Word. At the beginning of the book there is this promise, “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.” (Revelation 1:3) This book of the Bible is important, and we should turn to it and draw strength from its message.
How do we find the motivation to read Revelation and help to understand it? One way is to remember that the voice in Revelation is Christ’s and the vision is of him.
In the first chapter, which we will consider on Sunday, the apostle John hears a voice. As he turns to see the voice, he is given a vision of, “one like a son of man.” The voice belongs to Jesus, and he is the man in the vision. He is described as one possessing power, authority, purity, and wisdom. He claims to be divine, eternal, and the one who grants eternal life. Then he says to John, “Fear not.”
John is not a man just hearing voices and seeing visions. In Revelation, John is hearing and seeing Jesus. This is the key to understanding this mysterious book of the Bible. Each scene shows us something about Jesus Christ. And what we see about Jesus comes with a message telling us to fear not, trust, take courage, stay faithful, and find hope.
As you read Revelation 1, you will notice that when John sees the vision of Jesus, he falls down at his feet as though dead. But then he hears the words, “Fear not.” How can it be that the one described in the vision can produce anything other than dead? How can peace, rather than fear, come from seeing him? The good news is that the man in the vision, with the voice like the roar of many waters, is on our side. He is our Savior.
Pray with me as we open this book of the Bible on Sunday, that we may hear and see Jesus.