July 7, 202

     Revelation 1:3 says “blessed be the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and keep what is written in it for the time is near.” Despite this promised blessing the last book of the Bible is often the one most neglected. There are a number of reasons for this but mostly the perception about Revelation is that it is difficult to understand and apply to the Christian life today.

     I contend that this reputation is undeserved. Revelation is simply a different kind of language than we are used to reading. Further, there are some things in the book that can be difficult to attach a specific meaning to. Even without an exhaustive understanding of every verse, the message of the book is definitely something that can be grasped. 

     There are a couple of simple principles that come out of the book which will help to make it easier to read and benefit from. 

  1. Revelation is written in language that is symbolic, in fact the word translated “made it known” or “signified” in verse 1 actually means revealed by symbols. So, when reading the book try to imagine the picture John is describing and picture it in your mind. This will go a long way in helping you grasp what is happening in the book.
  2. The book is written to suffering Christians, the context which launches the main story of the book is found in Chapter 6 verse 9 where the martyrs ask how long? Much of the rest of the book is an answer to their question.
  3. The answer that God gives is also a helpful truth to keep in mind while reading the book and his answer is God and his people are victorious over the forces of evil.

     There is more that could be said but even these simple principals will go a long way in helping make sense out of the Revelation.

     Of course, like any book beyond all of these is simply to read, read it through in large chunks or even the whole book in one sitting. Read it often; read the book over and over until you are totally familiar with the content. Read it slowly and prayerfully taking time to think about what you find. 

     So now that you have finished reading this little note, go get your Bible turn to the last book and read it, you will be blessed by the effort.

~ Kevin Cleary