Today, I have been walking with the Lord in the Prayer Room and meditating on Revelation 1 verses 1, 2, and 3. Holy Spirit has so much to say from three verses. This book or letter to the first century church was first a personal encounter to John the Apostle while facing great hardship and hostility in prison on a solitary island. Wow! What an encouragement to John. How many times did he second guess his decisions, actions, and now his future as Christ was years removed from him? It would appear that John was still in a heart-posture of worship to Christ, even while in prison.
Revelation 1:1-3 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must 1shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. 3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.
On that glorious day, while worshiping Christ "on the Lord's day" the heavens opened up and John received a series of encounters with the face-to-face King of Glory. These experiences and encounters have now become our hope of the glory available today and to come. This book became a mandated letter from God the Father to John the apostle and then to the 1st century Churches. I can imagine that the Father determined to give this beautiful book/letter/experience to John as a personal gift of encouragement. As John was known as "the one whom Jesus loved" it was as if the Heavenly Father gave him this reward for his faithfulness in love to Christ. Wow!
This is Book of Revelation is first and foremost "THE REVEALING OF JESUS CHRIST". Stop there! Why would you NOT want to read, meditate, and seek to discern every verse and phrase of this book as a glimpse into the beauty and majesty of this eternal King of glory? Then, in the next phrase, we see that the Heavenly Father determined the things about His Only Begotten Son to make known to His Creation on this side of eternity, especially for His sons and daughters who would experience pressures, poverty, and persecution for walking by faith in following Christ.
The next phrase we see in this first verse is a critical point for why this revelation would be so invaluable to Christ's Church. John said that the Heavenly Father was revealing Christ in order to discern "...the things which must shortly take place." This phrase should not be quickly passed by but understood as a key to everything else that would be communicated in this book. This phrase can be understood as things which were about to happen but also things that would unfold rapidly. We know that John's generation received encouragement and insight in following Christ for their generation as well as every generation that would follow. But, we must understand that the final generation that would receive Christ Jesus back to the earth in establishing His kingdom in Jerusalem would need the understanding of "...the things which must shortly take place." This very gift of the Book of Revelation must be dusted off and celebrated as an unfolding and unveiling of the Son of God/Son of Man, Christ Jesus in who He is and what He intends to do in the final moments of human history in this age. Those who seek to understand will be invited into participation with Him.
Psalm 110:3 Your people shall be volunteers in the day of Your power; In the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning, You have the dew of Your youth.
My prayer today while mediating on these verses was from verse 2. Oh Father, let me "bare witness to Your Word" and let me encounter "the testimony of Christ Jesus" . As John gave testimony to all that he was shown, so too let me be a faithful witness to God's Word and His Son's testimony in my generation.
Finally, as we look at verse 3, we hear John prophesy that there is a blessing to those who would "read, hear, keep the words of this prophecy" (Book of Revelation). Though this was a prophecy from the Lord to His people, John had also experienced this blessing first-hand. John encountered Christ in His full glory and found himself eating dust as He saw Christ shining like the noon-day sun. This revelation of Christ sustained John for his hour of great testing in his faith. So too, I submit that this Book of Revelation will become an ever-increasing gift for us as Christ-followers in the days ahead as we look for and pray for the return of Christ. We say with the Holy Spirit, "Come quickly, Lord Jesus!"