We don’t often think of Revelation has an encouraging book, but please read with me this incredible opening. “Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen” (Revelation 1:4-6, ESV).
Is the ruler of the kings of the earth America? Is it Israel, the European Union, the Arab nations? No!
Who is the ruler of all the earth? It is Jesus. At whose name will every knee bow and every tongue confess as Lord? It is Jesus. Who is high and lifted up and exalted above every other? No one but Jesus.
The name of Jesus is glorious and magnified. John is introducing a promise to the beleaguered believers of his time. “Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him” (Revelation 1:7). What does Jesus do when the church is in decline and lacking fire, when we lose our first love and are persecuted or discouraged? He makes himself known again! “Here I am. Come and know me.”
He sets us free again from the sins that so easily entangle us, and he raises us up into a kingdom of faithful priests once more. As much of Jesus as you already have, he has more for you. The greatest thing my father ever taught me was “You can have as much of Jesus as you want.”
I’m excited about missions work and good preaching and solid theology, but nothing fills me with as much joy and interest as Jesus. Even if we’re not there yet, Jesus is always waiting for us to turn toward him. If we do, we will be overwhelmed with his magnificence. We will have a hope in the ruler over all things. To Jesus Christ be glory and honor forever and ever. Amen!