WorcesterRouT – The Superscription (1:1-3)
This opening clause is a mark of distinction which gives us not only the title, but the theme.
It is a revelation about and from the Lord Jesus. It is a revelation, a disclosure about the Christ Himself. It reveals His present work in the church, and discloses future events, but the events concern the person of Christ Himself and His return and activities associated with His second coming. In support, note the following verses:
•1:5 — “and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness.”
•1:7 — “Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him,” so we have an unveiling.
•1:13 — Reveals Christ’s ministry in the middle of the lampstands.
•5:5-6 — Reveals Jesus Christ as the Lion and the Lamb.
•6:14 — Reveals the unveiling of the Lamb on the throne and His wrath.
•19:10 — Reveals the return of the Lord as King of kings.
The Chain of Communication
First, it proceeds from the Father to the Son
Second, the communication proceeds from the Son through an angel
Third, the communication comes from the angel as the Lord’s messenger to John
Finally, the communication of the book is from John to the body of Christ
General Eisenhower once rebuked one of his generals for referring to a soldier as “just a private.” He reminded him that the army could function better without its generals than it could without its foot soldiers. “If this war is won,” he said, “it will be won by privates.”
In the same way, it is the common, servant-like believer who becomes the very backbone of the body of Christ. We are often overly impressed by our great evangelists and superstar Bible teachers and leaders who stand before large crowds, but if the glorious message of the person and work of Christ is to reach the world, it will be done by a church that functions as bondslaves of the Savior (cf. Luke 12:15; 12:32; 2 Pet. 2:19; 1 John 3:17).
Someone has said, “The true test of a servant’s heart is whether or not I am willing to act like one when I am treated like one.”
The Things Communicated
(1) “The Word of God”—This book with its visions is called the Word of God and is part of the whole canon of Scripture. It stands in harmony with the rest of Scripture and provides us with the culmination and conclusion. This description stresses its authority and importance to the church. It brings out the concepts of inspiration, canonicity, preser¬va¬tion, and illumination (cf. 1:9; 3:8, 10; 6:9; 12:11; 17:17; 19:9; 20:4).
(2) “The testimony of Jesus Christ”—The word “testimony,” marturia, a noun form of the above martureo„, also carries the idea of “attestation, verification, validation.” This could mean “the testimony about Jesus Christ,” an ob-jective genitive, or “the testimony from Jesus Christ,” a subjective genitive. The latter is preferable because of the phrase, “the Word of (from) God,” and the context. The point is John testifies to both the Word of God and to the validation of his message from Jesus himself.”
(3) “And of all the things which he saw”—The first two defined and described his testimony from the standpoint of its nature or character and source. This calls attention to the many details and areas that he saw and that will be found in the book—the great events and personages which precede and surround Christ’s coming, His kingdom, and His eternal glory.
The Promise, Plan, and Value of the Book (1:3)
The Plan—Exposition and Application
The Value—Its Timeliness
Appellatives (titles) of Jesus Christ (1:5a)
(1) Our Prophet—the faithful witness.
(2) Our Priest—the firstborn of the dead.
(3) Our King—the ruler of the kings of the earth.
Accolades (praise) to Jesus Christ (1:5b-7)
(1) For His present ministry—“who loves us.”
(2) For His past ministry—“who released us…and made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father.”
(3) For His future ministry—“Behold, He is coming with the clouds…”