Was the Book of Revelation Written for Us?

Monday, 33rd Week in Ordinary Time—Year II
Readings: Revelation 1, Luke 18:35-43

     The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him, to show his servants what must happen soon. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who gives witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ by reporting what he saw. Blessed is the one who reads aloud and blessed are those who listen to this prophetic message and heed what is written in it, for the appointed time is near.

Revelation’s island of Patmos and its seven churches in Asia Minor (or modern-day Turkey)

        So begins the most misunderstood book of the Bible. The Book of Revelation speaks of “what must happen soon” and of an appointed time which is “near,” but to whom is it speaking? Some answer this question historical-critically; it is addressing seven particular churches in Asia Minor during the first or second century. Others answer eschatologically; it is describing the wonders and travails awaiting the generation which will immediately precede Jesus’ return. But what about the many generations who come and go between those two bookend-eras of Christian history? Was the Book of Revelation addressed or applicable to them? In what sense was its prophetic message truly “near” or “soon” for all that time?

        The Book of Revelation involves specific historical contexts in the past and describes a historical climax (apparently) still to come, but it also speaks to Christians of every age. Consider today’s gospel: Jesus heals a blind man and declares the saving power of his faith or faithfulness (“pistis” in the Greek.) How narrowly should we interpret this gospel? Are the miracles and message of Jesus Christ intended only for the people of His time and place? Is the Gospel of Luke meant only for the first century Christians to whom it was written? Rather, the whole of Sacred Scripture, co-authored and inspired by the Holy Spirit who sees all of history simultaneously, speaks to the life and times of every Christian. Corruptions of the world, persecutions of the Church, manifestations of God’s power, and triumphs of His people belong to every age. The Book of Revelation truly tells “[God’s] servants what must happen soon” because these realities are always “near.”

Three Crosses Line Break

2 Responses to “Was the Book of Revelation Written for Us?”

  1. Was the Book of Revelation written for us? - Christian Forums Says:

    […] […]

  2. Thomas Lynch Says:

    The lesson for every generation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: