Revelation 1:1-8: The Illustrated Letter
Persecution. Imprisonment. Martyrdom. These seem far removed from the lives of many Christians today. Yet we do suffer. Who can witness the breakup of families, the death of unborn children, the threat of war and the plight of the poor without crying out, "Come, Lord Jesus"? In this passage he does come in a vision to give us hope in a suffering world.
Warming Up to God
Following Jesus brings many benefits. It also causes new pressures and problems. In what ways have you found being a Christian difficult?
Discovering the Word
- The word revel means "to bring to light what was formerly hidden, veiled and secret." Who and what will be unveiled by the revelation given to John (vv. 1-3)?
- How would John's description of God be a comfort to his readers (vv. 4-5)?
- Why would it help discouraged believers to know they are "a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father" (v. 6)?
- John presents a vision of Jesus as both coming (v. 7) and already and always here (v. 8). What would it be like to have only one of these two perspectives?
Applying the Word
- In what ways has a knowledge of Christ's coming encouraged you in the midst of suffering?
- John states that we will be blessed if we hear his message and take it to heart (v. 3). In what ways do you think he expects us to take this message to heart?
Responding in Prayer
Ask God to fill your heart with hope.