I recently finished a sermon series from Revelation chapters 2 and 3 at my church, where I preached on the seven churches mentioned in these two chapters.
I’ve preached from these chapters before, but something jumped out at me in a different way over the last two months. I took the time to look more carefully at the first verse in each of the seven messages.
Here’s what I mean. In chapter 2 verses 1, 8, 12 and 18, and chapter 3 verses 1, 7 and 14, Jesus introduced himself to each of the churches with words of description. I have always been fixated on the messages to each of the churches. But I came to realize that these introductory verses were of much greater importance than I had ever realized.
Notice what Jesus said about himself. At various places in these verses he referred to himself as, “the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand,” “the first and the last,” “the one who has the sharp two-edged sword,” “the true one,” “the Amen” and “the faithful and true witness.” Why does this matter? What is my point?
In each introductory verse, Jesus simply said something about himself. He described who he was and what he did. And that matters. Why? Because of our lack of knowledge and understanding of who Jesus really is.
I know it doesn’t make sense to some. When you consider the number of books written, TV shows produced and sermons preached on Jesus, you would think we would have a better understanding of who he is. And yet there is great ignorance on the person and work of Jesus.
Too many people refer to Jesus as, “a good teacher, a prophet and a great example.” And he is certainly all of these things. But he is so much more! He is the Son of God, the Creator of all that exists, the Lord and Savior of those who will trust in him. Soon, we will sing about “Immanuel,” which Matthew reminds us means, “God with us.”
According to the Bible, and to the teachings of the Christian church, Jesus is God in the flesh. Fully God, yet fully man. Impossible fully to grasp, and yet entirely true. We owe all of our allegiance to him. Nothing else will do.