Revelation 1:9-12: Christ among the churches.
“9 I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, 11 which said: ‘Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.’12 I turned round to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lamp stands,”NIV
John was on ‘’Patmos’’, a small island, about four miles square, located in the Aegean Sea south of present day Turkey. The Romans used to banish criminals and other prisoners there. The island served as a jail from which no-one could escape. But someone rightly said that although John’s body was confined, his spirit roamed eternity. Best of all, he saw Jesus. When we see Him everything changes, even if our circumstances don’t!
As previously noted, 7 is the number of perfection. So these 7 churches represent all churches, everywhere, in all ages. It is clear, then, that God wants the church to have a vision of Jesus. We need to see Him at all times. But especially when days are hard for the church, we need to understand that He is with us; He is among us. He is not remote or aloof, but He is in the churches. He doesn’t abandon us in our distress and suffering, but is right here with us.
The Someone ‘’Like a son of man’’ (13) John saw is none other than Jesus Himself (Daniel 7:13). The prophet Daniel saw a similar vision of the glorified Christ (Daniel 7:9; 10:5,6).
The church is a ‘lampstand’. The light we are called to shine into the world is but a reflection of Christ’s own glory (16b).
PRAYER: Day by day, Lord, three things I pray: to see you more clearly, to love you more dearly and to follow you more nearly.