What Jesus Looks Like Now

David Bast

Read: Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14; Revelation 1:12-17a When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. (Rev. 1:17a) What’s your mental picture of Jesus? Some might think of a painting that once hung in many a church lounge, a portrait of an olive-skinned Jesus with brown hair and beard and a rather dreamy expression on his face. Or there’s another picture I once saw—the laughing Jesus, head thrown back and white teeth flashing from a black beard. Then …

In the Spirit on the Lord’s Day

David Bast

Read: Revelation 1:10-11; John 20:1-10, 19-20 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day. (Rev. 1:10) I have a pastor friend who likes to explain Scripture phrases by running them through the “Bible decoder ring.” If you run our key verse through that, it comes out “I was worshiping one Sunday.” John was doing what Christians do: we go to church on Sunday to worship God. We’re told that Jesus went to the synagogue one Sabbath day, “as was his …

Partners in Tribulation

David Bast

Read: Revelation 1:9; John 16:25-33 I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus. (Rev. 1:9) A key word in the book of Revelation is thlipsis, meaning distress, suffering, tribulation. John knew all about thlipsis, and so did the churches he was writing to; they were partners in it. He was on Patmos, a small rocky island off the coast of Turkey. He had been exiled there during the …

The Alpha and the Omega

David Bast

Read: Revelation 1:8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God. Alpha and omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. I’m it, says God. Everything from A to Z comes from me and belongs to me. I’m the beginning and the end—and all that’s in between. Nothing exists apart from God or outside of God. Yet things have gone terribly wrong in God’s own creation. Some of God’s highest and most glorious creatures …

He Is Coming

David Bast

Read: Revelation 1:7; Acts 1:6-11 This Jesus . . . will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven. (Acts 1:11) A lot of ink has been spilled over Jesus’ second coming. Will there be a millennium, a literal thousand-year reign of Christ on the earth? Will the church be snatched away in a miraculous rapture? Is the end just around the corner? I have to confess that I’m not terribly interested in debate over the details …

To Him Be Glory Forever

David Bast

Read: Revelation 1:5b-6; Revelation 5 . . . to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. (1:6) A doxology is literally a “word of glory.” Doxologies are brief ascriptions of praise that Christians have used in worship since the very beginning. The salutation of Revelation 1:4 is Trinitarian. We’ve considered God the Father; we’ll look at the sevenfold Holy Spirit in a future devotional. But today the doxology is directed to Jesus, God the Son. The point is simple: …