Part of the Whole – Revelation 1 and the letters

There is a lot of deep Christology in Revelation, and particularly in the first chapter.  Some thoughts:

  • the Revelation of Jesus Christ – this book certainly reveals much about Jesus, is it also a revelation from him (and I can never remember the subjective from the objective genitive).  v.1
  • A summary of his life and work – v. 4-7: witness (teacher), savior/victor (firstborn of the dead), king to come (ruler of kings); sacrifice (freed us from our sins by his blood), lord of church (made us a kingdom of priests), departed to return again (he is coming…).
  • His “physical description” is taken up in parts in the later letters, to wit
    • Ephesus – lampstand (1:12)
    • Smyrna – life (1:17)
    • Pergamum – sword/truth (1:16)
    • Thyatira – eyes/feet (1:15) – the judge who sees all, are bronze feet swift? strong?
    • Sardis – seven spirits and seven stars (1:16,20)
    • Philadelphia – key (1:16)
    • Laodicea – beginning/firstborn (1:5)
  • Since the letters to the churches are issued individually, but they are given the tag: ‘…hear what the Spirit says to the churches”.  The message to the church is unified in Christ and relevent to all by our union with Christ.
  • the value of the above is that 1.  The letters are relevant to us bc the Lord is the source of the messages and he does not change.  2.  They are more about Christ than a supposed history of the church (dividing the church age into 7 periods that correspond to the strengths and weaknesses of the 7 churches.)
  • Laodicea seems to point forward to Chapter 4,5 more than backward to Chapter 1 (door, throne(s))
  • The works of God are undivided – He who sits on the Throne (the Father), and the Lord/Lamb/he who walks among the lamp stands and the Spirit/7 spirits work seamlessly and undividedly.
  • Jesus has the keys to the kingdom and we are all priests – looks like the Lutheran/reformed view here.



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