Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Revelation 19:11-13

Revelation 19:11-13
And I saw heaven having been opened and look – a brilliant horse!  And the one who was sitting upon it is being called faithful and true.  And he judges in righteousness and makes war.  And his eyes were as a flame of fire and upon his head were many crowns while having a name that has been written that nobody except him has known.  And having been clothed in a garment having been dipped in blood and his name has been called the Word of God.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

As John writes this passage, he knows his history and the political environment around him.  John knows that in the Roman Empire when a territory was conquered the winning general would ride through the territory on a white horse.  When you add this knowledge to the context of the passage, John’s point is clear.  The brilliant rider on the white horse that comes down from heaven is a conqueror.  He will defeat the dragon and the beast.  Victory is assured if you are on the side of the white rider.  Naturally, this would be a passage that is filled with hope for the Hebrew people.  As they are oppressed by Rome, as their life is threatened because of their faith, they would know that the ultimate victory is assured.

Where does your victory reside?  How do you live in such a fashion as to proclaim this reality?

Second Thought:

Reading about the rider, we see three mentions of names. 
  • The first is that the rider is called faithful and true.  This is a demarcation of identity.  Jesus is faithful.  He keeps His word.  When Jesus makes a promise, He fulfills the promise.  When the Father assigns a task to Him, Jesus fulfills the will of the Father.  In this faithfulness, He is also true.  He can be believed and trusted.
  • The second – the third in the passage – is that He is called the Word of God.  This hearkens back to the opening verses of the Gospel of John.  However, this is far more than a simple reference to an earlier letter than John wrote.  John is reminding us that words bring forth ideas.  When we say that Jesus is the Word of God, we are saying Jesus is the personification of God’s plan of salvation.
  • The third name, and perhaps the most intriguing, is the name that nobody knows.  In the ancient world, names are power.  Knowing a person’s name implies power over them.  This is why the Hebrew people, and many Christians, will never speak out loud the name of the Lord that comes from the tetragram, YHWH.  Therefore, to have a name that nobody knows means that Jesus is the pinnacle of power.  There is nobody that has power over Him.

Which name of Jesus in this passage brings you the most comfort?  Which brings the most interest out of you?  Which currently speaks to you the most?

Third Thought:

Lastly, we have the description of Jesus.  His eyes are fire.  He wears many crowns.  He is clothed in clothing dipped in blood.  All of these point us even more to the conquering nature of Jesus. The eyes of fire were already discussed when we spoke about Revelation 1 & 2, and it is a symbol of His conquering power.  The many crowns are John’s way of telling us that Jesus has conquered many spheres of influence.  Jesus isn’t just a victor; He is the victor.  Finally, we have the clothing dipped in blood.  We don’t know whose blood this is.  If this is the blood of His enemies, then it is clearly a symbol of His conquering power.  However, it could be that the blood is dipped in His own blood.  If this is true, then it is a reminder of Jesus’ victory over death for our sake.  In any case, we see that Jesus is indeed the conquering victor in many senses of the words.

What has Jesus conquered within you?  What sphere of influence has Jesus conquered for you?

Passage for Tomorrow: Revelation 19:14-21
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