Revelation 1

Scripture  Revelation 1:17-18  When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last,  and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades. 

Observation-What does it say?  The traditional view of the author of this book is the apostle John, son of Zebedee.  Though some made an argument for another, the evidence seems to support the apostle as the author.  The book is written in a time preceding a great persecution of Christians by Rome, possibly under the leadership of Nero.  Because of the increasing persecution, some in the church were advocating for a compromise of their values and accepting the practice of emperor worship, as was common in Rome at the time.  This attitude of compromise needed to be routed out before the faith of the believers is undermined in hard times.  
In the first chapter, we see the introduction of how the book was inspired.  John, who is in exile on the island of Patmos, is in worship on “the Lord’s day.”  During his time of worship, God reveals this message to him. In the opening John shares the image of Jesus.  Seeing Jesus had a great affect on John, and he loses control of himself.

Understanding-What does it mean?  On a few different occasions, I have had the opportunity to meet different people of fame.  Every time, even though I know they put their pants on just like I do, I get a little weird.  I get a little nervous, start sweating on my hands, and then I can’t think of what to say. One time, a large production company came to film a major motion picture at the building where I worked and I acted as “security” for the day.  As part of the circus, there was a really big name actor. One of my female co-workers was walking through the building when she saw “Jake.” She later told me how their eyes locked as they passed each other in the hallway. Her heart started beating faster, she lost her breath, and she felt as though she was looking in the “eyes of an angel.”  A few hours later, I had the opportunity to have a brief conversation with “Jake.” I found out he was very paranoid, and rather odd, and all the amazement of what my friend told me faded away in a second. “Jake” was revealed as just another guy.
So it’s understandable that John, upon meeting the creator of the universe, fell down “like a dead man.”  This is a model worth following. Entering the presence of God in fear and trembling. It pains me to say, I often come to God, not as the creator of the universe, nor as the saviour of my soul, but more like a waiter or a cook.  I ask for things as though I deserve them, not considering my reality, that I am a sinner in need of saving. Multiple times through scripture, we are reminded of how great God is, and how we are only made clean through His sacrifice.  We are given the image of the burning bush (Exodus 3). In Isaiah 6 we see a vision God on his throne, and the angels singing “Holy, holy, holy.” Time and time again we see those who encounter the living God, and how they respond with complete awe and we ought to follow their lead.

Life Application  Jesus forgive me for not entering into your presence with reverence.  Help me to know that you are the only one worthy of my praise. Thank you for your sacrifice.    
 
-Tyler Galloway