God revealed Himself to us through His Son, Jesus the Christ. Jesus revealed Himself to us through His Word, the Bible. The entire Bible can be referred to as the revelation or the revealing of Jesus the Christ, but this book is specifically titled Revelation because it reveals to us hidden matters and tells of events that have happened and will happen many years after it was written. God chose John to see and record the things written in the book of Revelation so that we could not only hear (read) it, but also believe and keep it.
(4-8) Greeting to the Seven Churches
Jesus the Christ (was) in existence in the beginning, in the past; He (is) in existence now, in the present; and He (is to come) will be in existence in the future, in the end and for all of eternity. Jesus the Christ is called “the faithful witness” because we can trust in Him and in His Word. He is the Truth and He is faithful. We can depend on Him. Jesus the Christ is called “the firstborn of the dead,” not because He was the first to be raised from the dead. In the Old Testament: Elijah resurrected a widow’s son, Elisha resurrected the son of the Shunammite woman, and Elisha’s bones resurrected a dead man who was being buried. In the New Testament: Jesus resurrected a widow’s son, Jairus’ daughter and Lazarus; Peter resurrected Tabitha and Paul resurrected Eutychus. But Jesus is called “the firstborn of the dead” because He was the first to be resurrected and the first to remain resurrected. The widows’ sons, Jairus’ daughter, Lazarus and all the others who were raised from the dead eventually died again, but Jesus remained alive and is in Heaven today. Jesus the Christ is called “the ruler of kings on earth” because He is the King of kings and has all power and authority over people.
Because of the love Jesus has for us, He freed us from our sins and from death by shedding His blood on the cross. He has made us princes and princesses of an eternal kingdom and priests to His (and our) Father, God. They deserve all glory and dominion forever. One day, Jesus will return to earth. Those who believe in Him, will rejoice. Those who don’t, will wail.
(9-20) Vision of the Son of Man
John was imprisoned on the island of Patmos when he received a vision from Heaven of Jesus the Christ who told him to write the things that he would see. Jesus called Himself “the first and the last” or “the Alpha and the Omega” because He was saying that He was the beginning and the end of all things. Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet and were often used by Jewish rabbis to refer to the whole of something or the eternality of something. Jesus the Christ is the whole of Creation. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. He died, but now He is alive and is alive forever.
Favorite verse: (8) “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”