Tuesday 14 April 2020

Bible Book:

'I am the Alpha and the Omega,' says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty. (v. 8)

Revelation 1:4-8 Tuesday 14 April 2020

Psalm: Psalm 110


The Revelation of John is an apocalypse: a secret revelation, written to the early persecuted Church to reassure them that the Lord Jesus Christ would deliver them triumphantly.

The author John makes no claim to be an apostle or personal disciple of Jesus. The Greek style suggests he may have been a Palestinian Christian who emigrated to Asia. Writing from Patmos, his work became associated with the evangelist John probably to give it authority.

Verse 4 – The seven churches are named in verse 11. Grace and peace bring together the Greek blessing of God’s kindness to the recipient and peace the Jewish sense of wholeness of relationship to God.

Verses 4-5 – Embeds a Trinitarian reference. The words "him who is and who was and who is to come" refers to the Father; Jesus Christ is directly named; the Holy Spirit in the "seven spirits before his throne." (More explicit in chapter 5:6.) The Holy Spirit manifests here as spiritual energies.

Jesus is called the first-born from the dead. In Colossians 1:18 the Greek translates: "the first to return from the dead." Jesus has authority over the kings of the earth. A strong affirmation at a time of persecution.

Verses 5-6 – Listeners are to draw strength by remembering the heart of their faith: Jesus loves them and freed them from their sins through his death. They have inner freedom if not outer freedom.

They are part of God’s kingdom and serve as priests of God.

The Hebrew word "Amen" means "may it be so".

Verse 7 – Pictorially outlines a theme in Revelation: the return of Christ. There is no direct quote from the Hebrew Scriptures but resonance with passages from it. Daniel 7:13 and Zechariah 12:10: "they shall look unto me whom they have pierced: and they shall mourn him."

Verse 8 – Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet; Omega the last. This echoes Isaiah: "I am the first, and I am last; and beside me there is no God." (44:6)

An affirmation that the whole of creation comes from God and will return to God in the fullness of time.


To Ponder:

  • Reflect on your day-to-day faith. Create your own Trinitarian formula pointing to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, if possible, as part of your lived daily spiritual experience.
  • What does Christ as Alpha and Omega mean to you?
  • Where do you find encouragement when you feel that others ignore your faith or belittle you because of it? Or is this not your experience?
  • What does the return of Christ mean to you?
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