Revelation 1:9-20: Surprised by Magnificence
The experience of meeting a famous person is sometimes disconcerting. He or she may be less impressive than we had imagined. But when John sees Jesus face to face, he is overwhelmed with his magnificence. John's experience challenges us to ask whether we have ever met the same Person. Or do we follow a pale, distorted copy of the real Lord?
Warming Up to God
From all that you have read or experienced before opening Revelation, what images or pictures do you have of Jesus?
Discovering the Word
- John pictures the seven churches as seven golden lampstands (to hold oil lamps). What does John's picture tell us about the function of the churches?
- How would Jesus' relationship to these churches (v. 13) encourage them to fulfill their function during hard times?
- John's vision of Jesus is rich with biblical symbolism. Instead of trying to picture all these characteristics at once, allow them to impress you one at a time, like a slide presentation. Which images impress you most with the magnificence of Jesus, and why (vv. 13-16)?
- Why do you think a godly person like John would be so powerfully overcome by the presence of the One he loved (v. 17)?
- How would Jesus' words encourage John not to be fearful in his presence (vv. 17-18)?
Applying the Word
- Revelation was written to churches persecuted under a totalitarian regime. Our society seems more friendly. Yet how is it hostile to us both morally and spiritually?
- How has this passage enlarged your vision of who Jesus is?
- How can this vision of Jesus encourage us to resist the seductions of our society?
Responding in Prayer
Praise Jesus for who he is and for what you have learned about him here.