Since John was the apostle that Jesus loved, why wasn’t he addressed more personally in Revelation?

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Speaker 1

Since John was the apostle that Jesus loved, why didn’t the Lord address him more personally in Revelation? And this is a question from Frank.

Speaker 2

All right, well, my friend Frank, that is a really good question to ask. I think that’s kind of a deep thought when you think about it, because that takes some context of thinking about the relationship Jesus had with the disciple John. And like you read in John, it keeps saying the disciple whom the Lord loved or that Jesus loved. And a lot of theologians have said that he never addressed himself, but he just addressed that Jesus loved him and that he really felt that he had that closeness with Jesus. And when you get you see the beautiful relationship that Jesus had with John, they were especially close because you see only John, James, his brother and Peter up on the Mount when they had the transfiguration. And so that was like Jesus’s core three people, even among the twelve. And so John was definitely very close and had a very intimate relationship with Jesus. So it makes sense why then in the Book of Revelation, in chapter one, I think you’re referring to, it seems a little bit less close, I guess you could say. So my answer would be let’s go first of all, let’s go to the Book of Revelation, chapter one, and let’s go down to verse let’s see, we’ll start in verse nine just to get some context.

Speaker 2

And I’ll actually just summarize. So basically John here, when he’s writing the Book of Revelation, he’s on the island of Patmus. And the island of Patmus was basically a place where they would send criminals to be in exile. So John was completely isolated from everyone. And if you know the history of John as far as what happened with him, they tried to kill John and martyr him, and they just couldn’t kill him. And so I think out of desperation, they’re just like, okay, we can’t murder this guy. Let’s at least isolate him because he keeps spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. If you guys remember the story where they tried to put him in a pot of boiling oil to kill him, and they put him in and he just basically had a bath. So here John is on this island in isolation all by himself, and he says, I, John, who also am your brother and companion in tribulation and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the island that is called Patnes for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. So basically he gives us this context of where he is and why he’s there.

Speaker 2

He is being persecuted for his faith. They’re trying to shut him up and keep the message from going anywhere by putting him alone on this island. But yet this is where Jesus takes this opportunity to reveal to him probably one of the most amazing prophecies ever in all of the Bible. And so in verse ten, basically John says that he was on the Lord’s day, which I would believe it would be the Sabbath, because Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath. And he hears a great voice like a trumpet. And we know from first thessalonians four that when the archangel sounds the sound of a trumpet, everyone dead in Christ shall rise. So it’s this amazing voice that says, I’m Alpha and Omega and basically it’s Jesus. So he turns around and he sees in verse 13 it says he sees candlesticks. And in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, one like the Son of man. So Jesus, but he describes a little bit differently here. And he says he’s closed with a garment down to the foot and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hair were white like wool and as white as snow.

Speaker 2

And his eyes were a flame of fire, as a flame of fire. And his feet like unto fine brass as if they burned in a furnace, and his voice as the sound of many waters. And so we see this picture of Jesus that’s really similar to what Daniel described in the Book of Daniel when he sees Jesus appear after he basically is praying fervently to help him understand the prophecy given to him. And so it’s very similar in this way. And I want you to notice what John’s reaction is. Jesus, I mean, he’s been with Jesus three and a half years and he’d seen Jesus transfigure on the mountain. So he saw Jesus glorified in a sense. But yet this image of Jesus, him seeing Jesus as he is in this way causes him to do something very interesting. And if you go down to verse 17, it says, and when I saw Him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, fear not, for I’m the first and the last. And so to me this kind of is interesting because he knew Jesus, he was very close to Jesus.

Speaker 2

Jesus entrusted him with his mother. I think of any disciple, John may have been the closest to Jesus. In a sense they were very closer as brothers. And yet when he sees Jesus in this heavenly way, I mean, in the sense you’ve been in the heavenly sanctuary. If he’s in the middle of seven golden candlesticks, jesus was in the heavenly sanctuary and he was ministering, just as it says in Hebrews that Jesus has high priest ministers for us in the heavenly sanctuary. And so there was something about seeing Jesus in this way that just completely took all the life out of him. And so Jesus could be like, hey John, it’s me. We’re buddies. But I don’t think that’s what John needed at that time. I think he was just so overwhelmed that what he needed was the strength of Jesus. And I think it’s so beautiful what you read. If you go back to that verse in Revelation One, verse 17, and it says, when he saw him, I saw the seat of dead, and he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, fear not, I’m the first and the last. And I’m going to tell you what I think.

Speaker 2

Why Jesus said this, at least to some extent, is if you go with me to the Book of Isaiah, and you look at Isaiah, chapter 41, verses nine and ten, so go with me to Isaiah 41, nine and ten. And I think this should hopefully kind of give you the answer maybe you’re looking for. So it reads in the context that this is God speaking to Israel, his people, you whom I have taken from the ends of the earth and called from the farthest reasons and said to you, you are my servant. I have chosen you and have not cast you away. And in verse ten, this is, I think, key, and it reads, fear not the exact words that Jesus says, for I am with you. Be not dismayed, for I am your God. Yes, I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you. I will hold you with my righteous right hand. And so I think it’s very interesting when you compare what happened in Revelation 117, where Jesus lays his right hand upon him. And the first words out of Jesus’s mouth are, Fear not. I think it struck a chord with John that he knew then and there that Jesus was the Almighty, but that Jesus was there to strengthen him, not to overwhelm him, not to scare Him, even though he felt that fear, but to give Him the strength to beat this next level of closeness with the Messiah.

Speaker 2

So I hope that kind of answers your question. I think, too, as you go through the prophecy of the Book of Revelation. This was an intense prophecy. This wasn’t a time that Jesus was like, hey, let’s just hang out. This was a very solemn and serious prophecy that he gave to John, and it took 22 chapters to complete. So I think maybe that’s why Jesus addresses John in a way that he’s like, hey, don’t be afraid. I’m the first and the last. I’m God, I’m in control. I’m almighty, I’m all powerful, and I’m going to give you the strength you need, because at that point, John just had no life in him at all. He was completely overwhelmed. And so I think when it comes to Jesus in our walk with Him, there’s going to be times where Jesus to us will be the good shepherd. He’ll lead us. But there are other times where Jesus will be our strength. There’s other times where Jesus will be the bread of life. Jesus will give us water of life. He’ll be the way, the truth, the life. Jesus is different things to us as we need it.

Speaker 2

That’s why Jesus says before Moses was, I am speaking of himself as the God I am. So it’s like, well, when you think of God as I am, it’s like, well, what does that mean? I am the Lord. I’m strength. I am truth. I am whatever you need in this life, I am that to you. So I think that’s maybe why Jesus in this instance revealed himself as more social something, a person of strength, because that’s what John needed at that time, and he definitely would need it as Jesus walked him through this incredible and probably overwhelming prophecy.

#St.John #BookofRevelation #Johnatpatmos
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In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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