Rev 1:1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,
Interesting that this revelation belongs first to Jesus, and was given to Him by the Father, so that He can give it to us. It comes from God, to Christ, to us, just as all God’s blessings flow. All of God’s grace flows to us through His Son, without that connection we are cut off from God’s grace.
Rev 1:2 who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.
This is John’s introduction of himself. Lest some reader stumble across this letter and wonder, “John? John who?” John gives a short introduction. It is the John who bore witness to God’s word and Christ’s testimony, and all that he saw. John sees his place as simply this, one who witnessed God to amazing things, and who tells others about those things he saw. He is nothing more than that. He doesn’t introduce himself as a great church leader, or one of Jesus 12 apostles, or “The one Jesus loved [most],” no, he is simply a witness. Likewise I also ought to view my entire worth as being derived wholly from God and His gifts, and my highest calling that as one who simply bears witness of what God has done, to His praise, and in the hopes that others will be lead to praise Him as well.
Rev 1:3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.
Huh. Well, ok. Here you go.
Of course the hard part is to keep what is written, probably ought to focus more on that as application.
In this verse, and in 1 we are reminded that the things John is about to talk about “must soon take place,” and that “the time is near.” I suppose I should wait till I get to what is prophesied, but I suspect that some of the things foretold will appear to be taking longer than expected. But nonetheless, this assertion does lend a sense of urgency to John’s writing.
In this prologue, the thing that really strikes me the most is how everything really flows from God, through Christ, to us, and then our responsibility is to share it with the world. That is how this particular book is conveyed. John is one link in that chain, and here we are to this day still repeating and proclaiming the words of this book almost 2,000 years later. But this is God’s message, and it is revealed to His Son. God is showing Jesus what the future will look like, when He will come into all the glories and promises that the Father had conceived to bestow upon Him from eternity past. And Jesus deigns to share this with His church, whom He redeemed, and sends us out to share it with others. The book of Revelation is incredibly complicated, but above all it is the message that one day God will set everything right, that the wicked will be judged, and that His Son will reign and be worshiped for all eternity.
No matter how great we may think ourselves, or how prominent we become in the minds of the people of this world, as a Christian our most important role is that of a witness. We are not the creators, the planners, the builders, we are simply the ones who bear witness to the One who Created, to the One who has a plan from eternity past, to the One who is building His kingdom. And on the opposite side, even the Christians who think the lowest of themselves, need only be reminded that their calling is to be a witness. We need not change the world, or even those around us, but only testify to them what God has done.