God’s Blessing

Posted on May 8th, by Ken in Revelation 1:1-8. No Comments

The author of the Book of Revelation, John, tells us that “God’s blessing” is on the one who reads, hears, and obeys the words in this book (v. 3). I did not at first experience it that way. It took me a long while to warm up to the Book of Revelation. After reading it on my own, I considered it a strange, weird, and confusing book of the Bible. Popular authors, the Left Behind Series, TV preachers, and Doomsday prophets didn’t much help me appreciate this wondrous and bewildering book of the Bible. In fact, the more I heard, the more I decided that I could delete Revelation from my devotional life altogether. When I began to study the Bible seriously, I discovered that Revelation had a lot of trouble making it into the NT canon, the official Scriptures of the Christian Church. Even as late as the 16 th century, the great reformer, Martin Luther, questioned its place in the Church’s Scriptures. My impression was that the Book of Revelation was much like a Rorschach inkblot test used in psychology. The Rorschach inkblot test is a series of inkblots on a piece of paper and the patient is supposed to look at it and tell the psychologist what one sees. This is thought to reveal what is going on in the patient’s mind rather than truly describe the series of inkblots. In the same way, most of the interpretations of Revelation I heard said more about the person interpreting the book than it did about the book itself! I now appreciate and enjoy the Book of Revelation with great enthusiasm. Chapters 4-5 are some of my favorite passages of Scripture. What helped me over the hump of distain was reading authors like NT Wright, who suggested that the Book of Revelation was perfectly intelligible to its 1st century readers and that much of the book is actually about the past instead of future events. I also found that, like the other books of the Bible, the message of Revelation was very relevant for my life and our world today. While written to seven churches in Asia Minor in the 1st century, the overall message of Revelation speaks to all churches at all times and in all places. The basic message is this – the powers of this world are in conflict with Jesus Christ and His Kingdom; one day Jesus will come again and set the world to rights. This gives me hope and reminds me that, one day, Jesus is coming back to make all things new.

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