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Week One | Blessed By Seeing the Glorified Christ

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Blessed Online Biblical Study
Reading Assignment – Chapters 1 & 2
Listen to the Audio version | Reading Time: 5 minutes

In our Online Biblical Study, Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus, Lois Tverberg encouraged us to brush away the dust of the ages to uncover what and who Jesus was really like. In my blog that went along with Lois’ first chapter, I explained how easy it is for us to want to picture Jesus looking like ourselves, but He’s not make-believe, like Santa Claus, and can’t possibly appear as each heritage/culture. 

It helps us better know Jesus when we remember and embrace that He was and is a Middle Eastern Jewish man.

It seems fitting that we begin this study of Revelation and apocalyptic literature, in a similar way, by dusting off our imaginations.  When reading the Bible, we encounter a number of genres such as historical accounts and poetry, so we sometimes feel conflicted having to apply our imagination toward Someone who is and was.  

John’s letter in Revelation requires us to think about how we imagine Jesus in His glorified heavenly form, and how this influences and shapes our relationship with Him.

Most of the pictures of Jesus we have in our mind that shape our understanding, our response, and maybe even our obedience to Jesus have been taken through the lens of the Gospels. And those pictures are good. They are true. They show us what he was like when Jesus took on flesh and lived on this earth for thirty-three years. They don’t necessarily show us what Jesus is like now in his glorified humanity, ruling and reigning in heaven. But in Revelation 1, John writes down what he saw when the curtain between heaven and earth was pulled back for him so that he could see Jesus as he truly is– today, right now.”

Nancy Guthrie, Blessed, pg. 44

How John Saw Jesus

I can’t help but think of the many ways John saw Jesus. In Luke chapter 5, we read how John, his brother James, and their friends left their boats and fishing nets to follow Jesus. What was it about this man that inspired such a drastic impulsive response? John couldn’t have possibly known all that he and his friends would experience while following Jesus. 

He saw Jesus capture and hold the attention of enormous crowds with His teaching. He saw Jesus as a miracle worker as He healed the sick, helped the lame to walk, the blind to see, the deaf to hear, and the dead to live again. Matthew chapter 21 tells us how John saw  Jesus as the triumphant King and warrior entering Jerusalem riding on a young donkey as the crowds shouted, “Hosanna!” before He went into the temple courts, flipped tables, and kicked the thieves out. John saw Jesus as bold, powerful, and invincible. 

John was one of Jesus’ closest disciples, considered to be in His “inner circle” along with James and Simon Peter. These three had the honor and privilege to be with Jesus during some of the most incredible experiences with Jesus, such as the transfiguration described in Mark chapter 9, when Jesus showed them a glimpse of His glory when He appeared with Elijah and Moses.

Jesus shared a very special friendship and bond with John. In John chapter 13, he described how he reclined against Jesus during the Passover feast. Then John 19, we’re told that John was the disciple Jesus loved. Can you imagine the horror of the moment John saw Jesus beaten, mangled, and dying on the cross, and the depth of grief when Jesus asked him to take care of His mother? John saw Jesus as his brother and knew Him well. 

Imagine the complex emotions John experienced when he saw Jesus risen from the dead.  John must have stood in awe and wonder when he saw Jesus ascend into heaven. 

John saw Jesus in some of the most awe-inspiring, unbelievable ways. But in His letter of Revelation, John tells us that he saw Jesus in a way he’d never seen Him before.

Seeing the Glorified Christ

Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest.  The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.”

Revelation 1:12-16, ESV

John was amazed to see Jesus still looking like a son of man. Even in His unimaginable, glorified heavenly body, John still recognized his best friend. He wanted the seven churches, and us, to know that even though Jesus is fully God and is in heaven, He still has a recognizable human form. He was the first to be transformed into imperishable, glorified, heavenly flesh, but He is still flesh.

Jesus gave John this revelation and told him to write it down, because he wanted them and wants us to see him as he is. He doesn’t want us to have our mental picture of him stuck on how he looked for the thirty-three years he walked this earth. John’s vision shows us Jesus as he is and as he wants to be known.”

Nancy Guthrie, Blessed, pg. 49

Yes, it’s important for us to think of Jesus and the 33 years He spent on earth, to get to know His culture and world. We should strive for Jesus to be as familiar to us as He was to John. There’s great value and blessing in knowing Jesus and His ministry during His time on earth, but it’s also necessary for us to brush off our imaginations and pay attention to how John described Jesus in Revelation. Seeing Jesus in His indescribable glory in heaven provides us with awesome hope and reassurance for our future with Him.

Instead of reducing Jesus to simplified, understandable, manageable terms, the vision that John was given and wrote down for us expands our vision and engages our imagination. It causes us to open ourselves up to someone bigger and grander and more captivating and commanding than we’ve ever seen before. And we find ourselves blessed—blessed by seeing the glorified Jesus.

Nancy Guthrie, Blessed, pg. 60

With this vision and knowledge of Jesus in Heaven, our faith is strengthened and we are reminded and encouraged to worship Him not just for who He was, but also worship Him for who He is, and will always be.

1. It helps us better know Jesus when we remember and embrace that He was and is a Middle Eastern Jewish man.
2. We need to dust off our imaginations while studying Revelation and apocalyptic literature.
3. John saw Jesus as a miracle worker, triumphant King, and warrior, but also as his brother and beloved friend.
4. John’s vision in Revelation shows us how Jesus wants to be known and thought of now.
5. We are encouraged to worship Jesus not just for who He was, but for who He is and will always be.

How does the vision of Jesus in Revelation affect the way you think of Him?
How does it affect your relationship with Jesus?

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Blessed | Nancy Guthrie

A 6-week study that will provide a different perspective on the book of Revelation. Learn how the book is less about when Jesus will return, but more about who we are to be, what we are to do, and what we can expect to endure as we wait for Jesus to return to establish his kingdom in the new creation.

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Blessed by Nancy Guthrie - 2023 Winter Online Biblical Study | Intentionalfilling.com

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