During a tender and sorrowful moment, Jesus dined with his disciples and disclosed to his intimate companions and followers that one among them would betray him.
This occurrence was documented by John, who humbly acknowledged his role in the meal.
One of his disciples — the one whom Jesus loved — was reclining close to his heart;
Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking.
So while reclining next to Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?” (John 13.23-25).
John’s nearness to Jesus allowed him to request that Jesus address Peter’s question.
Compare this moment to John’s experience on Patmos when he encountered a vision of Jesus in all his glory.
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead (Revelation 1.17a).
John had two experiences with Jesus, both of which were faithful depictions of encountering Him. Jesus is approachable and even calls us His friends (John 15:14-15), but when He appears in His glorified state, it will “blow the circuits” of our human comprehension.
Our study of Revelation will help us revere the awesome nature of our friend and Savior.
Don’t Be Afraid
God displays both awe-inspiring power and merciful kindness in his essential being.
When John caught sight of the glorious vision of Jesus, he fainted in the presence of his friend. Nevertheless, Jesus’ gentle compassion raised John to his feet and restored him.
But he placed his right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last and the Living One.
I was dead, and see, I am alive forever and ever, and I have the keys of Death and of Hades” (Revelation 1.17-18).
Jesus has authority over every aspect of death and the realm of the dead (Hades). We can live confidently in his willingness and power to give us eternal life because of his resurrection.
The rule of Jesus extends over all facets of death and the realm of the dead (Hades). As a result of His triumph over death through His resurrection, we can be confident of both His ability and His willingness to grant us eternal life.
John received a vision from Jesus, which he recorded with the intention of providing guidance and comfort to the followers of Jesus. The Book of Revelation is this vision.
Now write what you have seen, what is, and what is to take place after this.
As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches (Revelation 1.18-20).
Revelation is an unveiling of the great principles at work in the world at the present and in the end-time.
The “lampstands” refer to the churches. The “stars” are identified with the angels or the leaders of the churches.
The good news is that Jesus holds the churches and their leaders in his right hand.
Jesus touched John and hold the churches and their leaders. In spite of persecution and difficulty, the church can be confident in Jesus’ care.
The passage encourages us to hold Jesus in high esteem and rely on his grace.
Rudy Ross and I discuss this passage on YouTube today. It can be found on the Bob Spradling channel.