By Mark Proctor
Pastor, Highland Park Baptist Church, Columbia
What does Jesus look like in your church? Some might picture a benevolent lover of children, with a large lap and a tender heart. Others might envision a healer, frequenting the hospitals, or a teacher, majestically ensconced in the pulpit. The apostle John was “in the spirit on the Lord’s day” while on Patmos and got the chance that you and I have never had — he got to see Jesus. He gives us two accounts in Revelation of Jesus, one in chapter 19 of the millennial king Jesus — a future Jesus — and this one in chapter 1 of the present day Jesus, the Christ of the Church. That sets the stage for the context of the book that the Christ of the church, the Christ of the tribulation, the Christ of millennial reign, and the Christ of eternity to be revealed. Revelation! “Write it down, write it down,” Jesus tells John; I want to reveal my glory to the world through the church. Oh, that the church today would get this message, that our students would marvel at this word: Christ is no longer the suffering servant, no longer simply the scarlet woman’s savior — He is the victorious Christ, the beginning and the end and everything in between.
Note that when John heard Jesus he turned to “see the voice” (Revelation 1:12). In verse 10 it was a trumpet, in verse 15 “the voice of many waters,” in each case commanding. And that voice came from among the lampstands — He was among the church (v. 13). Don’t miss this: Is the voice of the Lord this commanding, this present in our churches today? One little Sunday schooler was asked how God spoke to the church today and his response was maybe a little too true to be funny: “through the deacons … when they let Him talk!”
But friends, here is the takeaway for your teaching. Revelation is a book that reveals the glory of Jesus Christ to the church today as well as tomorrow. And He speaks to the church. He loves the church and claims the church. He wants the church to see Him and hear Him, He wants the church to experience Him — “His countenance was like the sun shining …” (v. 16). He is clothed in glory, with hair like wool, eyes like fire, and feet like brass (vv. 13-15). He stands in victory as a victor, not as a warrior soon to be engaged in an unknown battle with an unknown outcome. The outcome is known and He has commissioned John to write it down and tell the church.
Has your church heard? Is this the Jesus worshiped in the pews and parlors of our churches today? Make your pulpits and classrooms come alive with the image of the victorious Christ. He loved us enough to show us His glory and to commission a writer to tell it to the church throughout the ages so the church could tell the world.