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,who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Revelation 1:1,2 ESV
The book of Revelation, is one of the most misunderstood books of the Bible. Why? I think it is because it is taken out of context as a whole. We tend to see it as something totally different than the rest of the New Testament. Besides that, many seem to think it fits far better with the Old Testament, especially those that go to Ezekiel and Daniel to explain it. While they are very similar in literary style and have many things in common it is very important to take it in the context of communication to the first century church, very much like the other letters of the New Testament canon.
It is important to look at all the evidence available concerning the book of Revelation and study it in light of that evidence. The Revelation was written at the end of the first century by the last remaining Apostle imprisoned on the Isle of Patmos for preaching the Gospel. The isle of Patmos was just offshore from the cities that Jesus addresses in His seven letters to the churches. So one thing we can see from the beginning is that the Revelation was written to be read in these actual churches.
Let’s look at the first two verses. The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. This is the revelation of Jesus Christ, not the Apostle John. Which was given to Him, by God. It was given by God to show the followers of Jesus what must happen soon. The context here is that this revelation was given by God to Jesus to give to His followers, so they would know what was going to occur.
He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. An angel was sent to the Apostle John, a witness of Jesus ministry and teachings.As John records the Revelation he starts off by letting his readers know the source of the Revelation and why it has come thorugh him.
So, as we continue to look into the book of Revelation let’s keep it in context as it was intended to be.
© 2013 Leo J. Woodman