At least it is NOT what I thought it was about…
It’s the UNEXPECTED purpose for these words that hit me when I read it differently:
Rev. 1:3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.
The purpose for us who READ the book of Revelation
The purpose for those who HEAR the words of prophecy in Revelation
The purpose for those who HEED the things which are written in Revelation is the same:
Not to frighten me into obedience
Not to keep me awake at night wondering when these things will take place
But to BLESS me!
I may sound greedy, but I want every blessing I can get. Whoa – did this change my perspective.
I love doing word studies, and looking up cross references to get the whole picture of something in the scriptures, and soon found another reminder to hear the Word of God:
Luke 11:28 But He said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God, and observe it.”
I also found the end of Revelation giving a similar challenge as the beginning – Rev. 22:7 “And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.”
It’s like digging for gold! The map says the gold is here! So I look up the original language meaning of action words in these verses
Blessed (God’s action) – meaning happy, spoken well of-praised and bountifully esteemed or considered fortunate. (some call this favored)
God wants to favor us, make us bountifully fortunate and, thus, happy.
Who can get that blessing? My action (actually Each one who will):
Read – to know again (looking at detail), know certainly, recognize/comprehend
Hear – Listen attentively and understand –receive
Heed – To take thought of (ponder and pay attention to) to exercise the mind (observe), to comprehend, to heed or conform to a command or authority: — hearken, be obedient to, obey.
Likely because of my own lack in listening skills, I seldom feel that others are truly listening (but are like myself formulating an answer while the other party converses).
When I read with the new perspective, I see this book is not so much about what is going to happen, or how I react to what might happen, it is a revelation – an unveiling for me – of Jesus!
I am challenging myself and others to re-read Revelation looking for Jesus – Note passages that reveal who he is and what he is doing and will do for you.
Revelation is a book of revealing or unveiling Divine mysteries: If you feel you need help to see this new perspective, like I did – I recommend – How to Survive the End of the World by Bob Hostetler.
Eugene Peterson calls it “A book of great hope and joy and blessing.”
That is what Revelation was and is meant to be. Will you read it again?