Vs 5-8 (Doxology and the Lord’s return)
5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the first-born of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us, and released us from our sins by His blood, 6 and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father; to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
7 Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. Even so. Amen. 8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”(NASB)
In Vs 5a, Jesus is presented as the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead and the ruler of the Kings of the earth. What does “Faithful witness” Osborn notes, “The idea of witness in Revelation is linked to themes of persecution and perseverance where it comes close to the later meaning of “martyr”. Jesus is the archetype and paradigm for the believer, who also must stand against evil and idolatry even it may mean one’s life.”
What does the firstborn from the dead mean? The Greek word Prototokos comes from two words, from Protos means first and tikto means “to bear, bring forth” Here the firstborn applies to Christ in respect of His being the firstborn of the virgin without excluding; however the following higher sense in which He was eminently the firstborn. In other words before all things. Jesus is called the first begotten or the firstborn of the whole creation Col 1:15, “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.”
Not only because he is before all things and all things both in heaven and earth were created by Him, but also because He was foreordained to inherit all things and in all things to have the preeminence, because all things were created for Him as well as by Him. Christ is also called “the firstborn from the dead in regard to His being the first who rose from the dead, no more to die; being the first to arise to an immortal and incorruptible life. The ‘firstborn from the dead’ implies that Jesus was the first person who was faithful unto death, and also the first one who rose from the dead by doing that he conquered death and grave.
In Judaism the firstborn was the next head of the family, the one who controlled the inheritance and become the successor of the throne. In Psalm 89:27, we read And I will appoint him to be my firstborn, the most exalted of the kings of the earth.” As the firstborn, Jesus is the exalted Messiah, and the ruler of the kings of the earth
Doxology Vs 5 b- 6: “To Him who loves us, and released us from our sins by His blood, 6 and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father; to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
Attributing glory and dominion (power) to Jesus forever and ever. As Aune, brings out “this is the first doxology in the NT addressed only to Christ.” Jesus is worthy of our praise for three aspects of his redemptive work, firstly he loved us by dying on the cross Rom 8:37, secondly he has released us from our sins by his blood (Rev 5:9) and thirdly he has made us to be a kingdom of priests. Just as God has delivered the Israelites and made them a kingdom of priests (Ex 19:6) He also has delivered us to become a kingdom of priests. Peter picks up this language “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood and a Holy nation” (1Pet 2:9).
THE LORD’S RETURN: (Vs 7-8)
7 “Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. Even so. Amen. 8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Vs 7-8, highlight the imminent return of the Lord and the nature of his return and its impact on the world. The whole world will notice when the Lord returns. Osborn notes, “Here the Danielic” coming with the clouds of heaven” has precedence followed by Zechariahs “They will look on me, the one they have pierced and they will mourn for him.” The Danielic passage tells of the “one like a son of man who will come to establish and everlasting dominion in “glory and sovereign power (Dan 7:13-14, Zech 12:10-14).
The return of the Lord and the establishment of His Kingdom on earth is certain and true avmh,n because he is the Alpha and the Omega, who is and who was and who is to come, the Lord God Almighty.
Vs 9 Translation: I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance, which are in Jesus, was on the island called
Patmos, because of the word of God and
the testimony of Jesus.
This verse indicates that John is the author of Revelation. By these words, “brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation,” John identifies himself as the member of God’s family and also fellow partaker in the tribulation. Osborne notes “John uses words such as “fellow sharers or partners” in order to emphasize the Koinonia concept which is found throughout NT literature. Everywhere the word group appears it connotes the idea of community, togetherness and mutual participation in the family of God and Christ.”
We are not certain on what exactly brought John to the
. Different views on how John got
to Island of Patmos Patmos: “Some have argued that John
isolated himself there as part of his visionary quest, others contend that John
was banished there. Eusebius said, John was banished to Patmos during the reign
of Domitian (A.D 95)”
However by reading into the text we can draw to a conclusion, that he was there
because of the preaching of the Word of God or as directed by God. We will see
next week what he has heard and seen regarding the seven Churches in Asia