by Philip Layton
The revelation given to John as a prophecy for us to take to heart
- Where did the book of Revelation come from (v 1)?
- Does verse 3 provide an extra incentive to try and get to grips with this book?
- Do you believe that Jesus will come again (vv 4-8)?
- Do you think of Jesus as the suffering Messiah, or as the King of kings (vv 12-18)?
Share your thoughts below, or tweet about it with the #boundlessbible hashtag. Don't forget this week's Children's Challenge!
Going Deeper From 'Words of Life'
The seven churches chosen to be recipients of this vision represented the various types of church that existed at the time of the writing. Yet really, they are a collective picture of churches of all time: churches with strengths, but also certain weaknesses.
The churches mentioned were to receive the vision. But we, as church members, are also to be recipients of this vision. To read it, hear it; to make sure we are right with God in all aspects of our lives – pure and holy before him.
John was in the Spirit – in tune with God – when he suddenly heard a loud voice. Turning to see who it was, he saw seven lampstands. On the Arch of Titus in Rome today, one can still see the carved likeness of the seven-branched lampstand of the temple which the Romans captured at the siege of Jerusalem in AD 70. The lampstand provided illumination for the holy place and symbolised the testimony of Israel to the world. In John’s vision, the lampstands were separate – representing the seven churches.
Walking among them was someone ‘like a son of man’ (v 13). He wore a long robe with a golden sash and he had white hair – indicating antiquity, eternity. His eyes were like blazing fire, seeing everything. His voice, like a loud trumpet – signifying strength and authority. And out of his mouth came a double-edged sword; his face shone in its magnificent brilliance.
For John, the vision was overwhelming! He fell at the Son of Man’s feet, as if dead. Then Jesus reached out, placing his hand on John, and said:
‘do not be afraid…I am the Living one’ (vv 17, 18).
Jesus watches over all churches today – and all of us. He walks amongst us, testing our effectiveness as we give the light of the gospel to the world. Is he pleased with our church? With us?
Arch of Titus photo: Steerpike (Creative Commons)