Read: Revelation 1:9-20
Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. (vv. 17-18)
It is Sunday. Frail old John worships on a cliff 90 miles across the Aegean from his churches. Suddenly above the thunder of breaking waves a trumpet voice says: “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches” (v. 11). He turns to see the voice. In dazzling light he sees a glorious figure! He faints! The glorious Person puts his hand gently on John, and says, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this” (vv. 17-19).
The figure symbolizes Jesus—long white robe, golden sash, white hair, piercing eyes, bronzed feet. Together, these signify that he is eternal, royal, all-knowing and everywhere-present. He has a sword because he is all-powerful. This glorious Warrior-King is the book’s main actor! Why is the sword in his mouth? He fights this cosmic, history-long war not with weapons but with “the sword of his word.”
Jesus ordered John to write about what he will see in this vision, sharing it with believers in that day, and all believers to come. The vision will be rich with symbols and language to interpret. But it also contains the keys to understand it, and it comes from a trustworthy source—Jesus himself! As you read, place your trust again in Jesus, as you work to understand John’s vision. —Ruth Siemens
As you pray, ask God to help you learn more about him.
About the Author
Ruth Siemens was a campus minister with IVCF/IFES, then started Global Opportunities to prepare professionals to work and witness in secular employment abroad.