Saturday, October 8, 2016

Revelation 1:9-11

Revelation 1:9-11
I, John – your all’s brother and companion in the affliction, kingdom, and patient endurance in Jesus – became in the island, the one called Patmos, on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.  I became in the spirit in the day of the Lord and heard at my back a great voice as a trumpet, while saying, “Write into a book and send what you see to the seven assemblies: into Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

We now get to John’s self-description.  After focusing upon God, he turns to himself.  He is a brother.  He identifies with the family of God.  He acknowledges that the people to whom he writes are not necessarily blood family, but they are family nonetheless.  John then calls himself a companion.  But look at that to which he claims companionship.  He claims the affliction of life, the rejection of the world, and the scorn that the world gives to those who are not of the world.  He claims the kingdom, that which God has established through His Son and promises to exist forever.  He also claims the patient endurance of Christ, the thing that allows him to continue to dwell in the world even though the world would reject God’s ways.  So often we in the modern world claim positive and uplifting characteristics.  Not so with John.  John claims a realistic perspective, a perspective born from understanding that the world crucified the Son of God.

Who is your spiritual family?  What do you claim as a part of your family?

Second Thought:

In fact, John tells us even more specifically about the rejection that he is facing.  Because of his faith, because of his desire to give testimony to God, and because of the conviction that he feels in his heart, John has been banished to the island of Patmos.  He is suffering exile because he is following the Lord.  When John speaks about being a companion in affliction, he knows about that which he speaks.  He is contained on an island, unable to share in the company of the saints in person.

Where has your affliction been real?  Where have you suffered on account of Jesus?

Third Thought:

John gives us the seven churches in Asia.  These are the places that he would have been serving.  These are filled with people about whom he cares.  These may be his flock.  But they are also the subject of God’s imminent message.  We’ll learn more about these churches over the next several chapters.  What we can learn is that even in exile, John still cares.  Even removed from the people, John still cares.  Furthermore, God knows that John cares.  God sends John a message for these people so that he can still be the spiritual prophet in their midst that he desires to be.

Has God ever shown you that He cares about that which you also care?  What can this reveal to us about God’s character?  What can this passage also reveal to us about John’s character?

Passage for Tomorrow: Revelation 1:12-16
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