A KALEIDOSCOPIC VISION
I will sing Your praises, Lord. I will sing Your praises forever. You alone are worthy of praise.
Read REVELATION 1:1–20
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“If you want to know the glory of God, if you want to experience the beauty of God, and if you want to be used by the hand of God, then you must live in the Word of God” (David Platt).
How do you “see” a voice (12)? From the very beginning, the book of Revelation challenges our assumptions and breaks down the categories we wish to box it in with. It is a vision, but it is something that John both sees and hears (10,12), and this extraordinary kaleidoscope of imagery is in fact “the word of God and the testimony of Jesus” (2). Although John has a vision, what we now have is a vision report, an extraordinarily beautiful, crafted and intricate piece of writing. We will need to read and listen carefully to hear its message!
All the way through, John presents us with things with which we are familiar—but in a surprising way. It is a letter, the opening greetings (4,9) reminding us of Paul’s letters, but it is also a revelation (apocalypse is the Greek word translated “revelation,” 1) and a prophecy (3) which draw us into praise and worship (5b,6). Attentive listening will offer insights that we could not otherwise know, give us a distinctive understanding of God’s perspective and draw us into a response of offering ourselves afresh to God.
John is clearly a pastor, who knows his congregations well and shares with them the hope of the kingdom, the hardship that being faithful to Jesus involves and the endurance that is needed to hold reality and hope together (9). He sees the realities they face and makes sense of them by drawing on the full range of the Old Testament Scriptures—Scriptures that point to the centrality of Jesus as the one who makes God known to us. He is the one who sees and judges truly; he is the one who holds his people secure. This is truly a “revelation from Jesus Christ” (1).
Which part of your life do you need to open to the clear gaze of Jesus? Where do you need to hear his Word?
Holy Spirit of God, continue to enlighten my mind with new truth from the Word.