Thanks for joining us as we continue our STUDY of Revelation 1 this week.
Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.- Revelation 1:12–16
I was listening to sports-talk radio on my drive home the other day. They were replaying a press-conference that took place earlier in the day with Joe Ellis – the president of the Denver Broncos. He described walking around the parking lot and talking with tailgaters before the Broncos played the Jets a few weeks back. He mentioned that was not something he does on a regular basis, but he wanted to connect with the fans after the dismal year the Broncos had. He wanted to hear the lament that’s rising from the fan base. He also made a point of saying that he brought security with him because he didn’t know how he was going to be received.
When you’re famous, it’s hard to go out in public. That’s why athletes and actresses and celebrities often stay to themselves. In receiving what we now know as the letter of Revelation, the Apostle John made a remarkable observation. He saw Jesus in all of his glory, walking amongst the churches! He’s royalty, he’s reigning, but he’s present with his people as they gather and join their lives together. Jesus doesn’t simply camp out in heaven, he comes and dwells with his people.
This is a remarkable observation for two reasons. First, we see Jesus’ love and affirmation of his church. He’s not only residing in individuals, but he’s making his home in a unique and special way in communities of people who have committed to walking together. If we don’t choose to be a part of the church, we miss out on experiencing a unique expression of the presence of God. Secondly, we see that Jesus is among the church in glory. He is their priest and stands at their defense, he sees into the soul with care, his voice is heard in the church and carries with it the authority of a rushing waterfall, and he holds the cosmos in the palm of his hand. Jesus is not simply present, he’s present and powerful – and his presence and power are experienced in the church.
As this new year begins, I want to encourage you make a new level of commitment to your local church. That might mean serving in a new way, it might be joining a life group and journeying with others, it might mean praying for your church’s leadership. Revelation 1:12-16 reminds us that we experience Jesus’ presence and power through the church – it’s worth your investment!
If you missed the weekend message, I’d encourage you to watch it online before continuing the Revelation study with us.
By Ryan Paulson