“From the Island of Patmos to the World”
The key to understanding the book of Revelation is to know that it is all about Jesus Christ. If we lose focus on the Risen and Victorious Christ, we will get lost in all the other pictures and symbols that bombard us throughout the rest of the book. It’s always about Jesus and the opening vision sets the stage for everything that follows. Revelation 1 shows us Jesus is not dead, silent, or absent from among his people. He is present among us as the vision in Revelation 1:12-16 shows.
What follows our text in Revelation 1 are seven letters to seven churches in Revelation 2-3. In one sense they are individual letters speaking into the life and times of Christian communities from a long time ago. However, it is really a single message to the Church of all times and places which declares the Living Christ is present among his churches. Pictures and symbols representing a greater reality is what we find in the book of Revelation. The picture in Revelation 1:12-16 is of One who speaks as he stands among the lampstands which represent his single, universal, beloved Church. Therefore, to all of us he says, “Do not be afraid, I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever.”