Read: Revelation 1:1-11
Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy. (v. 3)
This month, we will be studying the book of Revelation. Revelation starts where the Gospels end. It gives us new glimpses of Jesus, a summary of the Bible, and a summary of history. This exciting story is told seven times in visions. Expect zillions of extraterrestrials, a few monsters and a dazzling parallel universe! These visions may seem bizarre, but the reality behind them never is.
Books and movies describing apocalypses and disasters are popular right now. Most are fiction. In contrast, Revelation is absolutely true. It is highly condensed. More than 500 symbols send us all over the Bible for their meaning, and it takes detective work to understand them. In this series, I’ll squeeze all I can onto each small page, but the most important thing you can do is read each day’s text. This book is practical, and crucial for our anxiety-ridden, post-modern world.
Here’s the context for the book of Revelation. Jesus arose from the grave in AD 33 and sent his apostles into a dark world. By the AD 90s only John is left. He teaches churches in Asia Minor. Then Domitian decrees emperor worship. Obey or get beheaded, burned at the stake or thrown to the lions! Christians suffer. John is exiled to rocky Patmos Island. His churches wonder: Is Jesus really on the throne? Why does he allow suffering? Will he return? How will it all end? Have these questions puzzled you too? Revelation has answers. —Ruth Siemens
As you pray, ask God for help in understanding Revelation’s message.