Saturday in the Nineteenth Week of Ordinary Time

Revelation 1:1-3

The Revelation of Jesus Christ

The problem with the scientific view of the world in which we live is that it sees only what may be measured and quantified.  This view is dominant in everyone’s thinking though we realize it or not; it is simply the air we breathe.  People of earlier ages did not share our understanding of the world.  And it is a fine and necessary view of the world if one is botanist or geologist.  The problem comes when one assumes that this is the only way to view the world—that the only reality is material or made of matter.  There is no spiritual world or world behind the material world.  What you see is what you get; well, besides microbes and forces like gravity.  But even microbes can be seen under a microscope and forces can be measured.  Angels are not subject to measurement, and so they do not exist.

Well, such a view of the world is reductionist in the extreme.  Christians “believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.”  And the Book of Revelation is such a book to sharply remind us of this.  The Greek word for “revelation” is αποκαλυψις (apokalypsis) which means, “unveiling” or “revealing things previously hidden.”  The Book of Revelation “pulls back the curtain,” so to speak, so that we may see the REAL world behind the physical.  It’s not that the physical world isn’t real; it certainly is.  It’s just that there is another world behind this world that will still exist when this world finally decays—which as a physical creation it must eventually do.

So God revealed through His Son Jesus Christ (remember that in Trinitarian theology, he is the Son who always reveals to us the Father) who sent his angel to the Apostle John “to show the servants [of God] the things which must soon take place.”  And we are told that John faithfully bore witness to this revelation from the Father and the Son, and that the one who reads and hears and keeps it will receive a blessing, “for the time is near.”

And so John will pull the curtain back so that believers will understand that they belong to another world in which graphic spiritual realities and even warfare takes place.  They must understand that in this world they may and probably will suffer.  They must further understand that God is still sovereign even when they do suffer, and must not use suffering as an excuse for compromise as they shall be tempted so to do.  And as they learn to see God working behind the scenes, they will see His glory and yearn to further that glory through obedience—even martyrdom, if necessary.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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