“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now…Come further up, come further in!”
― C.S. Lewis,
Well, we are coming to our final study in the book of Revelation. We’ll be reading Revelation 22.
To really get a grasp of and appreciate the imagery of v1-5, you have to be somewhat familiar with Ezekiel 47:1-12. To contextualize that for you, Ezekiel was a prophet of God during Israel’s exile in Babylon. Many of his prophecies were about Israel’s return and justice dealt out for her enemies. Near the end of the book, Ezekiel sees the temple rebuilt, and a river flowing from it which gets deeper and deeper and has the remarkable properties of turning the salt water of the sea into fresh water. It also has the tree and fruit imagery as well. Ezekiel was seeing more than just Israel’s return from exile, he was seeing the whole world restored. John’s vision takes from this picture and completes it for us.
There is also imagery from Genesis 1-3 sprinkled in. What do you think the point would be, to have these parallels with return from exile and original creation? What does the end state appear to be, as you read this?
V6-21 are comprised of the final messages and warnings and encouragements about the whole of the vision.
I find it really curious to the point of humorous that John repeats his folly from chapter 19 again in v8. The repeated warning given by the angel in v9 seems emphatic enough to get our attention. Why do you think this warning is repeated? Why do you think John makes this mistake twice? What does that tell us about human nature and what we need to be alert about in our mission here?
I love the final words of Revelation, which then become the final words of the whole bible.
“May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s holy people”.
It all resolves with grace.
Here’s something: if you have any questions about this book, or want to discuss various interpretations or ideas about it, or if you need one of my points of view clarified, let’s use the comment section of this post to discuss it. There are no wrong questions, and I can’t promise anything resembling an intelligent response, but I’d be happy to talk about this more if anyone wants to. If not, it’s cool. I really enjoyed teaching through Revelation, even though the research and artwork fairly well swallowed up most of my days. Still, I have to say that I’ve gained a new appreciation for a mindset that eagerly awaits Christ’s return – even as we reflect that future good in our lives and actions today. I hope you were able to get something out of it too!
Hope to see you Sunday!