THE COMING OF JESUS
Lord God, majesty and power belong to you. All my praise is given to you.
Read REVELATION 22:10-21
10 Then he told me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, because the time is near. 11 Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy.”
Epilogue: Invitation and Warning
12 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you[a] this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”
17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.
18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.
- Revelation 22:16 The Greek is plural.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.’1 Praise God for this hope.
We now confront the final paradox of Revelation: we have reached the end of the book, but the end has not yet come. Does that mean that this text is about a distant future for John and his contemporaries, a prediction of the end-times in our own day? Emphatically not! The command ‘Do not seal up the words …’ (v 10) contradicts the message to Daniel,2 whose visions in the sixth-century BC related to the distant, second-century BC reality. John’s message was for John’s readers in John’s day; the hope that Jesus would soon come was to sustain them in faithful living, not turn them into end-times speculators.
There are two complementary movements emphasized throughout. The major one is the longing for Jesus to ‘Come’ (v 20). This is Jesus’ promise; this is the desire of his people (the ‘bride’, v 17); this is the yearning of the Spirit. Why? Because the coming of Jesus will be the presence of God with his people. As ‘the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End’ (v 13), Jesus is identifying with God (the Father);3 in being their reward and repaying what the saints have done, he is fulfilling the role of God.4 ‘Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.’5 When Jesus returns, we will see God face to face.
There is another invitation, another longing – all who are thirsty should ‘come’ (v 17, TNIV). Without change and repentance, ‘those who do wrong continue to do wrong’ (v 11); when Jesus comes they will be shut off from the glory and wonder of the holy city. That is a double tragedy, since, though the offer of life came at great cost to Jesus and will involve costly faithfulness, it remains a free gift to all who will accept the invitation.
As you patiently await Jesus’ coming, in what area of your life do you need to say again ‘Come, Lord Jesus’?
Mighty God, give me such a sense of your reality that I will not be surprised when you reveal yourself in power.
1 Rom 8:18 2 Dan 8:26; 12:4 3 See Rev 1:8; 21:6 4 See Gen 15:1; Isa 40:10 5 John 14:9
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