Sunday, November 20, 2016

Revelation 14:14-20

Revelation 14:14-20
And I saw a brilliant cloud – and look! – one of a similar nature as a son of man sits upon the cloud while having a golden crown upon his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.  And another angel went out of the temple while crying out in a great voice to the one who sits upon the cloud, “Send your sickle and reap, since the hour to reap came since the harvest of the earth is ripe.  And the one who sits upon the cloud threw his sickle upon the earth and the earth was harvested.  And another angel went out of the temple in heaven; he also has a sharp sickle.  And another angel – the one who has authority upon fire – went out of the altar and exclaimed by a great voice to the one who has the sharp sickle while saying, “Send out your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes of the vineyard of the earth, since her clusters are at the prime.”  And the angel threw his sickle into the earth and gathered the earth’s vineyard and threw them into the great winepress of God’s strong passion.  And the winepress was treaded upon outside of the city and blood went out of the winepress until it reached the bit of a horse for six hundred stadia (about 1/8 of a Roman mile, time 600 of course).

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

When we look at this passage we see another instance of the Son of Man.  This passage shows us one more perspective of Jesus.  What can we glean from the Son of Man as presented in this section?  It is the Son of Man who gathers in His own people.  In fact, we might go so far as to say that the Son of Man is the only one capable of reaping the harvest because He is really the only one who can know our hearts.  God’s angels can’t reap because they don’t know.  The only one who truly knows us and knows our hearts is Christ.

Why is this important to remember?  Do you take comfort in knowing that Jesus knows your heart as well as you, if not even better?  Why is it hard to remember that we cannot know the heart of another person?  How can this help us to be humble and not be judgmental?

Second Thought:

When it comes to those who are left, though, notice that another angel can go forth and sort.  The Son of Man has no interest in gathering those who are not in Him.  God’s angels can round up those who are destined for wrath because the Son of Man has already sifted through the people.  This doesn’t mean that God doesn’t care.  God absolutely cares.  God desires that all people would be in relationship with Him.  But God also knows that there are those who will reject Him.  When those who have not rejected God have been reaped, the rest can be gathered by God’s messengers and prepared for judgment.

Are you surprised to see such a clear message regarding Jesus’ focus?  Why do you think that Jesus would gather those who are in Him while leaving God’s angels to gather those who are not in Him?

Third Thought:

As we turn to the end of this passage, we hear about the winepress.  In the Old Testament, the winepress is used again and again as a symbol of judgment.  Furthermore, notice that the winepress is set up outside of the city.  This is yet another clear indication that judgment is reserved for those who are not a part of God.  Those who are not gleaned by the Son of Man will find themselves tread upon in judgment.

When you hear analogies to judgment such as a winepress, what does that make you think?  What do you think judgment at the hands of God will be like for those who are not in Him?

Passage for Tomorrow: Revelation 15:1-8
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