Sunday, October 6, 2013

Revelation 1 - One Like the Son of Man

LINK: Revelation 1

BACKGROUND 


Some of Revelation 1 is covered in the introduction for the entire book from yesterday. Read that if you have not already done so.


John was instructed to write in a book what he saw and send it to the seven churches in Asia Minor: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.



http://www.ccel.org/bible/phillips/JBPhillips.htm
Notice the whole Trinity -- Father, Holy Spirit, and the Son --in 1:4-6. Most commentators believe that the seven Spirits before His throne refers to the Holy Spirit and His "influences" (Isaiah 11:2-3). The number seven is sprinkled throughout the book and symbolizes completeness and perfection. 

Revel in all the things that Jesus Christ has done for us: loved us, released us from our sins by his blood, and made us a kingdom, priests to the Father (1:5).


Many commentators believe that what is described in 1:7 is Jesus' return to the earth in His second coming, witnessed by the whole world (Daniel 7:13; Zechariah 12:10-12; Revelation 19:11ff) and a different time from when he takes away (raptures) true believers (and never touches the ground so not technically a "second coming") before the tribulation (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18; 1 Corinthians 15:5ff; Revelation 3:3; 16:15; 1 John 3:1-3). This is a "pre-tribulation" rapture view. There are many views on the rapture: pre-,mid-,post-, prewrath. You can look them all up if you are so inclined. Here is a link to the four major views of the end times in Christian eschatology: preterist, futurist, historicist, and idealist. The Oxford English Dictionary defines eschatology as:

 The department of theological science concerned with 'the four last things: death, judgement, heaven and hell."  It is a Greek word meaning "last, farthest" (eschatos) "study, discourse, or word" (logos).
Those "who pierced Him" could be the Roman soldiers, those who were responsible for His death, or the godly remnant of Israel (Zechariah 12:10). He will come to conquer evil and to judge all people according to their deeds (20:11-15). 

Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Christ is the eternal One. He will come as a conquering King and establish His reign.


John identified himself as a companion in their suffering. He was identifying with the churches who were probably suffering under Emperor Domitian (A.D. 90-95). He had a vision of the glorified Christ while in deep contemplation. Christ commissioned Him to write this book and send it to the seven churches. 


This vision must have been intimidating because it made John fall at his feet, but like so many times before, Jesus said "Do not be afraid." The mention of someone "like the son of man" reminds me of Daniel 7:9-14. The title Son of Man occurs many times in the New Testament when referring to Jesus as the Messiah.


REFLECTION 

You have just read a fantastic description of Jesus. You may not understand what everything means, but I don't know about you; but, like John, it makes me want to fall at His feet (1:17)! I am not afraid. I am in AWE!


APPLICATION

Meditate on how Jesus is described in this chapter. You might want to journal, draw a picture, write a song, or practice the LOYOLA METHOD of meditation. Here is the handout on meditation. No matter how you meditate, I hope and pray it leads you into worship today!


PRAYER

We worship You, Jesus, as the coming King. We give You everything. We submit to Your rule and reign in our hearts today. Amen. 


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