Journey Home • Sermon • Submitted
0 ratings· 1 view
Grace and Peace
Grace and Peace
John wants the seven churches to know that God blesses them with grace-the surprise gift and peace-wholeness and health. This is a very important statement on many levels, first of all, what does it mean to you to be whole?
John gives us a description of who it is that offers us this grace and peace-the one who was, who is, and who is to come. He also offers it from the seven spirits who are before his throne. What do you make of this statement?
John then goes on to call Jesus, “the faithful witness”, “The first born of the dead”. (NRSV)
5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood,
To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood,
Ask yourself,”what was John trying to convey to his audience?” He was trying to reassure them that just as Jesus’ death and resurrection had overcome death by the hands of others, they also would overcome if the rulers of this time took their lives.”
He who loves us and has freed us.
Verse 6 goes even further into the idea of grace and peace, (NRSV)
6 and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
Luke describes how Jesus ascended in two different ways and in two different books of the Bible. In Acts we see that he was lifted up and a cloud took him out of their sight. In Luke a little different story, (ESV)
50 And he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. 51 While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple blessing God. The idea is that John wants his reader or his audience to recognize that there is grace and peace in the Lord.
7 Look! He is coming with the clouds; every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail.
every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him;
and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail.
So it is to be. Amen.
John needed to tell the story, which includes suffering, in such a way that the audience will not be discouraged and yet be warned of the coming suffering. In order to do this he recognizes he who has overcome. He acknowledges those who are included in this blessing. He also acknowledges the triune of God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Finally, John ends by giving the bold statement of who Jesus says that He is, (NRSV)
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.