11th December 2014

The Beatitudes of Revelation (Part 1)

“Blessed is the one…”
Revelation 22:7 (NIV UK)

“Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.” (Revelation 1:3)
“Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll.” (Revelation 22:7)
“Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.” (Revelation 16:15)

The book of Revelation is full of symbols and this has led to several, perhaps many, creative interpretations of the symbolic language in terms of world history, church history and the foretelling of future events.

However, in this book the author, the ascended Jesus Christ, gave additional beatitudes (sometimes called the beatitudes of Revelation) to the Sermon on the Mount to reinforce his promises and give hope and encouragement to those suffering hardship.

Three beatitudes are discussed in this study, the remainder in part 2, next week. These verses need to be studied in context and with the rest of scripture, but the following points can be made:

  • The Greek word translated ‘prophecy’ simply means the divinely inspired words of God and does not necessarily refer to foretelling the future. Comments by Vine[1] on the Greek word translated prophecy include “…prophecy is not necessarily, nor even primarily foretelling. It is the declaration of that that cannot be known by natural means…it is the foretelling of the will of God, whether with reference to the past, the present, or the future…”
  • There is a promise of spiritual happiness and joy to those that hear, understand and take to heart the divinely inspired Word of God coming from Christ.
  • There is also the promise that Christ will return (22:7), but despite some Christians’ disposition to prediction addiction, it comes with a warning that he will come at an unexpected time, as a thief (16:15). This verse also reminds and encourages Christians to stay awake, continue to live the Christian life, and be clothed with the righteousness of Christ—and hence not be spiritually shamefully exposed. This message is reminiscent of an incident found in Mark’s gospel where a young man (perhaps Mark) follows Jesus but under pressure flees from him and becomes shamefully exposed through leaving his linen garment behind. “A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus. When they seized him, he fled naked, leaving his garment behind.” (Mark 14:51-52)

Prayer
Father we thank you for the spiritual joy, hope and encouragement found in the book of Revelation and that comes from knowing you and the gospel message.
Amen

Study by Eddie Marsh

[1] Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, W.E. Vine _____________________________________________________

eddiemarshAbout the Author:
Eddie Marsh attends Grace Communion International in Sheffield.
Local Congregation:
Grace Communion, Sheffield
Please email for Meeting Place

Meeting time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Email: sheffield@gracecom.org.uk

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