Series: The Radical Call of Jesus
Message: Radical Church
Preacher: Japhet De Oliveira
Daily Walk: Japhet De Oliveira
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 97:6-9.
Read: Revelation 1:1-3:22 (ESV). As you read, note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: It was nearly 20 years ago that I first came across Jon Paulien’s verse-by-verse exposition of the book of Revelation. Listening to each lecture on those audio tapes countless times allowed me to process at my own pace the depth and beauty in the book of Revelation. Previously, I had only seen the book in snippets, all of these pointing to the end of the world, the Mark of the Beast, and a picture of heaven that involved a lot of gold and diamonds. As we enter into this seven week Daily Walk series, I'd like to encourage you to follow the following three suggestions. First, pace yourself. Resist the urge to know what everything means instantly. Second, enjoy the journey. The book of Revelation is from Jesus and about Jesus. Third, this was true then and it is true now. It meant something back then and it means something new to us now. Take comfort in the knowledge that Jesus is always prepared.
I recently read William Johnsson's latest book, Where Are We Headed? Adventism After San Antonio. On p.135, Johnsson shares how when reading the four gospels you can’t help but discover that “the Jesus of the Gospels was—is—radical.” I believe that John, who also wrote the fourth Gospel, wrote Revelation under inspiration from God not only to share the radical call of Jesus with His community in the first century, but with us today in the twenty-first century. The birth of Christianity was not void of pain. The struggle affected the early Christian's daily lives. They faced rejection from friends, from family, from community—including their faith communities. John knew this all too well. He himself was exiled onto the island of Patmos, and longed to be with his community in Ephesus. He was fully aware of the struggle that all the Churches were facing. Within the first chapter, John provides a beautiful summary of the book, including instructions on how it should be read, and an assurance of the blessing that will come as a result. Ranko Stefanovic, in his book Plain Revelation, shares this insight as to why every word was intentional and what the results will be.
In the New Testament, “grace and peace” is more than just a casual greeting. The order of these two words is always “grace and peace,” never “peace and grace.” . . . this is because grace is the divine favor bestowed upon human beings and peace is the state of spiritual well-being, which follows as the result (p.16).
Respond: Pray for clear vision.
Research: How much of Revelation comes directly or indirectly from the First Testament?