Caught up in a vision, the Apostle John was instructed by The Lord to take a small scroll from the hand of an angel and eat it. John was told that the scroll would be “sweet as honey” in his mouth, but would turn his stomach sour (Revelations 10:9).
John might have been tempted to take the scroll, roll it around in his mouth a few times to get that sweet taste, then spit it out before anything made it down into the lower chamber.
Good thing the angel was standing by to make sure it went all the way down.
We rejoice in God’s love and in His salvation for all who believe in His son Jesus Christ, even as we shudder to think of His inevitable condemnation of all who will not believe. Some of those latter ones are close to us. It’s painful to think of them suffering eternally and yet we loathe the thought of having to warn them of impending doom.
Revelations isn’t just a record of what our Lord Jesus revealed to John about the future judgment though, it also tells us what Jesus revealed to John about Himself.
“I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” (Rev. 22:16)
John in turn reveals and glorifies Jesus as “him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father…” (Rev. 1:5-6)
Like John, we also are called not only to warn but to reveal Jesus to those who do not yet believe. Jesus reveals Himself to us in His Word, and He is at work in us by the power of that Word so that we might reveal Him to others through our words (and our actions).
Last year I read through the entire New Testament. I used the reading guide calendar that our brothers and sisters in The Living Word schools of Papua New Guinea also use each day (2014 editions available at church!) I found that reading The Word daily is like walking with Jesus. It’s living with Him, learning from Him, growing in Him and growing near to Him.
It was tempting to skip over the sour parts of His Word, where He talks of the coming judgment, but digesting all of His Word has helped me to better see that His message of love and mercy is for all people. Sweet is really sweet when you’ve tasted sour.
How much Jesus loves us! He came to save us and to make us His. He came to know us and to make Himself known to us, to make Himself real to us so that we can help make Him real to others.
He’s all about saving people.
And He wants us to be about that too.