Monday 06 April 2015

Bible Book:

"Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living one. I was dead, and see, I am alive for ever and ever; and I have the keys of Death and of Hades." (vv. 17-18)

Revelation 1:12-18 Monday 6 April 2015

Psalm: Psalm 135


The book of Revelation was written to encourage, and challenge,Christians facing severe persecution at the hands of Rome,following the destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple, and thefinal painful separation of the young Christian churches from theJewish roots.

The book is presented as a series of visions of 'what must soontake place', experienced by John in exile on the Greek island ofPatmos.

The language is vivid and poetic, full of apocalyptic images, anddescribes a cosmic conflict between God and his enemies, the finaloutcome being victory for God and his people, and the establishmentof the 'new Jerusalem' on a renewed earth.

The way in which Revelation is read, of course, depends on theextent to which you want to understand it as an extended poetic'parable' or as a precise prediction of the future. Given that2,000 years have passed since John wrote 'what must soon takeplace', and it still hasn't happened, the reader may decide to gowith the first suggestion!

Our passage for today, like much of Revelation, borrows heavily onthe language and imagery of the Old Testament book of Daniel,another splendid example of apocalyptic writing.

In his vision John sees 'one like the Son of Man' - a spectacularlysupernatural figure who terrifies him so that he falls down 'asthough dead'. But the figure now touches him and speaks to him inthe words of the text for today - words that identify 'one like theSon of Man' as the risen Christ.

John has patiently endured persecution and 'paid the price' offaithful witness to Jesus (verse 9) and now hesees the risen Lord face to face. Faith that still dares tobelieve, despite challenges and difficulties, reveals the truepeople of God.

To Ponder

  • Why do you think that reading Revelation as 'a preciseprediction of the future' is still so popular?
  • How does John's vision relate to your own experience?
  • How might 'faith that still dares to believe' reveal God'speople today?
Previous Page Sunday 05 April 2015
Next Page Tuesday 07 April 2015