The Revelation of Jesus: The King's Perspective

Revelation troubles us because of its evocative imagery and wild moves between genres. Revelation is the only full apocalypse in the Bible. But it is not simply an Apocalypse (definition: an uncovering). It is a letter to seven real churches that John pastored. And in the Holy Spirit’s plan, it is also a letter to churches today. It is thirdly prophetic - both speaking truth to our daily lives and about the future. When we remember all three genres - the book is a light to what our lives of faith look like in the spiritual realm. Some of it is certainly about the future, but only the parts we can untangle from what was happening to those seven churches in Asia Minor (Turkey) and the rest of the Bride of Christ throughout history.

When we do that essential work, especially through the Old Testament texts which John drew from to understand the revelation he was given, we see the King’s perspective on our lives and calling. The most beautiful parts of Revelation are not the images of the New Heavens and the New Earth, but about our lives in the midst of the tribulations surrounding all people - though sometimes especially Christians - in a world beset by the judgment of God. And then, we are able to receive the more transcendent beauty of the collision of Heaven and Earth as Jesus returns to set thing to rights.