When I first started teaching Sunday school back in January, I struggled with fear, not know how my message would be received. Eighty percent of the adults in the class were older than me and a good portion of those had been Christians longer than I’d been alive. It was rather intimidating. I was afraid they’d see the socially-awkward, uncomfortably tall and lanky, ten year old boy that I was when they first met me, instead of the twenty-seven year old man of God that was sharing a message he’s received from the Lord and poured his time and energy into preparing. I was afraid their perception of me would shroud the message.
What are your perceptions of Jesus? What Jesus do you serve? The Jesus in a manger that we celebrate this month? The Jesus that died on the cross like the Catholics? Or the One who rose again? Maybe He’s the Jesus who healed the sick or forgave sins or had compassion on the leaderless, or the Jesus that ascended into heaven? Or do you not know that He is seated now at the right hand of the Father. He is the Revelation 1 Jesus, the Daniel 7:9, 13-14 Jesus, the Philippians 2:9-11 Jesus.
Rev 1-> Jesus Christ is described as the Faithful witness, firstborn from the dead, ruler over the kings of the earth, He who loved us, washed us from our sins with His own blood, made us kings and priests to His God and Father, Alpha, Omega, Beginning, End, Who was and is and is to come.
Image->Some of the imagery John uses helps us understand who Jesus is. Chest of a golden band, head and hair white as wool or snow, eyes like a flame of fire, voice like the sound of many waters, stars in His right hand, mouth of sharp double-edged sword, countenance like the sun shining in its strength
Countenance like the sun-> Matt 17:2, Ex 34:29-35, Mal 4:2
Clothed with garment-> Zech 3:3-4
Sharp double-edged sword-> Heb 4:12 context is disobedience
Eyes like the flame of fire-> eyes see they have vision, God is a consuming fire; a jealous God like a jealous boyfriend Ex 20:4-5
Gold is pure-> holy; band is over the heart, the wellspring of life
Here are some examples of how the seven churches Jesus addresses in Revelation 2-3 had a incorrect view of Jesus and it skewed their relationship.
Ephesus-> Jesus is “He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks among the seven lamp stands(churches)” Jesus said they had left their first love and His warning was that, if they didn’t repent and do the first works, He would remove their lamp stand from its place.
Smyrna-> Jesus is “The First and last, who was dead and came to life”. Jesus’ admonishment is that they would be faithful even unto death and He would give them the crown of Life.
Pergamos-> Jesus is “He who has the sharp two-edged sword. His issue with Pergamos is that they have sinned, they’ve been disobedient. Remember that the context of Hebrews 4:12 is disobedience.
Thyratira-> Jesus, the “Son of God who has eyes like a flame of fire and His feet like fine brass”, tells this church that they are disobedient and idolatrous. Remember that God is jealous for His people.
Sardis-> Jesus is again “He who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars”, but the church of Sardis is dead and in danger of losing their place among the churches.
Philadelphia-> Jesus is “He who is holy, He who is true”. The church in Philadelphia was true to Him and if they persevered, Jesus would write on them His new name (Faithful and True)
Laodicea-> Jesus is “The Amen, the Faithful and True witness, the Beginning of the creation of God”. This church’s witness (works) was not faithful or true. Instead they were wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. Jesus tells them to buy from Him gold refined in the fire and white garments that you might be clothed. Remember what those were a reference to in Revelation 1
So then how should this realization affect how we interact with God or how we act in faith?