Tuesday 14 August 2012

Bible Book:

"It has a great, high wall with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates are inscribed the names of the twelve tribes of the Israelites ... And the wall of the city has twelve foundations, and on them are the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb." (vv. 12, 14)

Revelation 21:9-14 Tuesday 14 August 2012


You can turn the television on and find the last 20 minutes ofsome action film. There are plenty of car chases, gunfire andexplosions: it all looks very dramatic and exciting. But for thelife of you, you can't work out what it is going on - who is thehero and who is the villain - until it is all over, and then it istoo late.

The only way to make sense of the film is to have seen it fromthe beginning, to have some idea of the context and the plot, andto follow the twists and turns and the rise of dramatictension.

The same is true with the book of Revelation - it is full ofspectacle (not dissimilar to a Hollywood blockbuster). It is thefinale to the Bible, but it relies on all that has gone before it.A useful definition of the Bible is that it is the story ordramatic account (in all senses of the term) of God dwelling in themidst of God's own people. And in Revelation, here is Jesusreturning victorious to dwell with humanity.

In today's passage, John the Divine (the writer of Revelation)is describing the new city of Jerusalem and tries to give it somephysical shape with walls and gates. And on both the gates and atthe foundations of the walls are the "names of the twelve tribes ofthe Israelites" (v. 12) and "the twelve names of the twelveapostles of the Lamb" (v. 14), in recognition of those who havegone before.

To ponder:

  • How would you describe the Bible in a sentence?
  • In terms of your faith and discipleship, who are the peoplethat are the foundations in making you who are? 
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