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One Like a Son of Man November 17, 2015

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on Revelation 1:9-20.

Summary: In this passage, John begins to relate a vision that he had on the Christian Sabbath – based on a command from Jesus Christ, who appeared in that vision among seven golden lampstands. In particular, the appearance of Christ was sublime; moreover, He asserted His sublimity to a prostrate John. Christ states that John’s vision should be communicated to the seven churches in the Roman province of Asia.

Thoughts: In verse 9, John states that when he received the vision that forms the body of this letter, he was on the island of Patmos. Henry offers some insights on this point in his commentary:

He was at this time, as the rest of the true Christians were, a persecuted man, banished, and perhaps imprisoned for his adherence to Christ…John does not say who banished him there. It becomes Christians to speak sparingly and modestly about their own sufferings. Patmos is an island in the Aegean Sea, one of the Cyclades, and was about thirty-five miles in width.

I am very curious as to how John ended up on this remote island, as it was quite far from Jerusalem. We know that at some point, John left Jerusalem – ostensibly due to persecution from the Jews. Did he facilitate the spiritual growth of the seven churches in Asia? Did his persecutors follow him from Jerusalem to Asia? Where did he commence his maritime journey to Patmos? Did his persecutors attempt to follow him to Patmos? I certainly hope to meet him in the next life and learn more about his adventures in this regard.

Jesus Christ makes a dramatic appearance in this passage – causing John, who had grown close to Him during His earthly ministry, to collapse at His feet. Perhaps we can assume that His appearance during His earthly ministry was unremarkable (it should be noted, though, that He defied physical boundaries after His resurrection). Now this passage provides insights regarding His appearance during His heavenly ministry. Indeed, the knowledge that we have an omnipotent and sovereign King in heaven should strengthen us whenever we doubt the reality of His ongoing work in this world. Moreover, although the world ignores Him and focuses on its own pleasures, this passage reminds us that He:

  • is watching from above
  • will punish those who ignore His words.
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