Revelation Day 5 - A Faithful Witness

Revelation 1:1-3

Back to where we started: why Revelation? Is it a codebook? A calendar? A hallucination?

Look closer at some clues. First, John tells us in v.2 this book is his “testimony.” Like a courtroom witness, he’s telling us what he experienced. Second, he witnessed Jesus giving his own testimony (v.3). John calls Jesus “the faithful witness” in v.5. Third, we’re supposed to read, hear, and keep what’s written in Revelation (v.3). The NIV says “take to heart” but a better translation would be “keep” or “observe.” In other words, we’re supposed to put Revelation’s testimony into practice.

So what do we do with this peek behind the curtain of history? What do we do until Jesus returns and good forever wins?

We witness. Like Jesus the Faithful Witness, we witness. Revelation reveals reality to inspire faithful witness. "Witness" doesn't mean approaching strangers to ask if they know Jesus. It doesn't mean handing out paper tracts about the road to salvation. It doesn't mean taking a John 3:16 sign to the baseball game. 

Witness means giving our first allegiance to Jesus Christ. It means living in step with the reality Jesus Christ exposes. It means witnessing - literally looking at - the glory of Jesus through worship. It’s not just looking AT Jesus, it means looking at the world THROUGH Jesus. Revelation coaches us to use Jesus as our 3D glasses so we can see what’s really real. 

Being a faithful witness also means being uncomfortable with some of the things our culture celebrates. It means resisting Babylon’s violence, domination, idolatry, injustice, exploitation, and sexual immorality. Being in step with God's reality means sometimes we'll be out of step with our neighbors, our friends, and even our family. The way of Jesus won’t always be welcome. That's why we'll need the patient endurance John mentions in v.9 and Jesus praises in the next chapter.

But being a faithful witness also means clinging stubbornly to hope in the face of grave evil. That’s what this bizarre testimony means to do. And it will, if we let it.

What comes to mind when you hear the word “witness?”

Jesus, you are the faithful and true witness. Spur me on to read your Revelation. Help me to understand. Make me a faithful witness, too. Amen.
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