Key Verses: Revelation 1:8, 17-19
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
…And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.”
The full title given to this book comes from the first five words in today’s reading. This is “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.” It is written in the Greek language, and Jesus is described by the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet; He is “The ALPHA and the OMEGA!” Jesus is called by the Apostle John in the fourth book in the New Testament, “The WORD!” “In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with GOD, and the WORD was GOD” (John 1:1)! Read John 1:1-18 along with Revelation chapter one for a full understanding of John’s sure knowledge as to the Person of Jesus. John wrote his Gospel to set the record straight, because false cults were seeking to diminish Jesus to the status of angels or a secondary god. Approximately 70 years before the writing of “Revelation”, John, along with his brother James, had been recruited by Jesus (Matthew 4:21-22 and Mark 1:19-20). Jesus had nicknamed these brothers, “Sons of Thunder”! (Mark 3:17). Just imagine their personalities and the boldness of John. No wonder that, as an old man of at least 90, he was considered a threat to the political and religious authorities, hence his exile to the Island of Patmos.
John had spent over three years in the company of Jesus. He knew Him very well as “The Son of Man.” He was a witness to the teaching, preaching, and healing-the-sick ministry of Jesus. He helped distribute the bread and fish to feed 5,000. He watched from the boat as Jesus walked on the water. He was the first of the Apostles at the empty tomb. He saw Jesus in His glorified, resurrected Body, again and again, over a 40-day period. He saw Jesus ascend into Heaven, and now John sees a glimpse of Jesus as the Eternal Son of God, One with the Father and the Holy Spirit. It was necessary for Jesus to say to John, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and BEHOLD I AM ALIVE FOREVERMORE. AMEN!!!” (1:17).
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
O, Lord Jesus, like John, I feel as if I should fall at Your feet as dead. I pray that while I read through the Book of Revelation, You will reveal Yourself to me over this next month as I bow in Your presence, meditating on Your Person, preparing to share this blog with as many of Your loved ones who will read it. Amen!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
John and his brother James had earned their nickname, “Sons of Thunder,” I’m sure. No doubt there was serious rivalry in the fish catching and selling business between them and the other two brothers from a different family who became apostles, Peter and Andrew. I can almost hear these competing brothers bragging about their catches. True to form, John and James believed they were the best to occupy the places next to Jesus soon, when, as they believed, He would establish His earthly kingdom. What a disappointment for them when Jesus announced immediately after this request to Jesus that He was going to the Cross. These “thunder” brothers did not want to hear that! Perhaps when the women announced the empty tomb and that Jesus was resurrected, John thought there was still hope for those positions. John bragged that he had arrived first at the mouth of the tomb. He was still in competition with Peter and possibly he still hoped for an earthly kingdom then and there! It seems important to me to establish that these people, to whom Jesus gave leadership of the Church, were so very human. But then the power of the Holy Spirit came on them at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-21)! From then on it was, as my daughter-in-love Ann has often said on the Full Circle telecast, “Keep your eyes on Jesus; it’s all about Him!!!” I’m so glad that Jesus calls very ordinary people, like me, into His service!
Yours because it’s all about Jesus!!!
P.S. There are two other brothers I know very well. One is my oldest son David Reynold, (World Embrace missionary in Uganda) who has visited the cities where all seven of the churches of Revelation were located, and whose photographs will, God willing, be featured over the seven days when we visit the Words of Jesus to each of those churches. My other son, Ronald Wesley (President of Heart to Heart Marriage & Family Ministries) has led Crossroads tour groups to the Island of Patmos where John was incarcerated. Today I’m featuring two of Ron’s photos. The first one seen above is a view of the harbour at Patmos, and the one below was taken by the cave where it is believed John saw the visions recorded in Revelation and where he wrote it all down. It’s amazing what God can do with brothers, James & John, Peter & Andrew in the first century, and Reynold & Ron in the 21st century. Zebedee, father of James and John, and David, father of Reynold and Ron are 2,000 years apart, but both of us (I think I can speak for Zebedee) are proud of our sons!!!