The book of the Bible that promises to make things plain to us
Revelation 1: A revealing of Jesus, the Messiah. God gave it to make plain to his servants what is about to happen.
It’s interesting that a book of the Bible that states its purpose to be “revealing” and making “plain” God’s intentions is considered by most people to be secretive, filled with hidden meanings and puzzles that can only be unraveled thousands of years after it was written. To some extent I think its John’s own fault. He likes to write using symbols and poetry. Also in play, I think, are the advances of technology John never imagined. He writes this letter thinking it’ll be passed around among seven churches. He never imagines that 1500 years later an invention will allow his letter to be mass produced and put in the hands of anyone who wants to read it. Had he thought about people greatly removed from the seven churches reading and trying to understand his words he might have at least added a few footnotes for those of us reading his writing hundreds of years later and under vastly different circumstances. However, that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing here for us today. In fact, it’s just the opposite. John’s Revelation connects us to Jesus in a way very different than do the Gospels or the Epistles. Here, we get a glimpse of how things look when viewed from heaven’s side. As long as I remember the purpose of this book – that it’s a revelation of Jesus — it has great value to me. Also, let me remind you that I’m writing devotionally here so don’t expect me to find any secret messages or unique interpretations here.
Take Away: When reading any book of the Bible it’s important to understand its purpose and read it with that purpose in mind.