Verse 9 “I John” – John is a prisoner of the Romans on the Island of Patmos. This is in the Aegean sea between Turkey and Greece and was a Roman penal colony. John is there for being a Christian and preaching the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Verse 10 “in the Spirit on the Lord’s day” What a great verse! John in dire circumstances is in the Spirit on the Lord’s day – Sunday. A reminder that God is bigger than our circumstances. So when we go into Church let’s be in the Spirit on the Lord’s day.
Verse 11 “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven Churches”. John will be shown things visually and he must write them down while they are fresh, describing all that he sees as best he can. The seven churches are named (we shall come back to these later). They are in Asia Minor (Turkey) and are the fruit of the apostles, particularly Paul’s, labours in preaching the good news. Seven is God’s number of spiritual perfection, as in the seven-fold Spirit mentioned previously. Seven Churches representing a complete picture of the Church then and all Churches down through time. A message for then and for now.
Verse 12 “Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands”. Seven churches – seven lampstands
Verse 13 “and in the midst…..one like a Son of man. Have a look at Daniel 7:13-14.
Verse 14-15 A description of the risen glorified Jesus; mighty, awesome, powerful.
Verse 16 “in His right hand he held seven stars, from His mouth issued a sharp two-edged sword and his face was like the sun shining in full strength”. Have a look at Hebrews 4:12 and when you pick up your bible think, “this is my sword”. Have a look at Exodus 34: 29.
Verse 17-18 Note John’s reaction and the reassurance he receives from Jesus. Cue for a song from youtube.
Verse 19 “Now write what you see” Keep writing John – don’t miss anything.
Verse 20 Explanation of the sevens. Seven stars – seven angels of the seven churches. The seven lampstands, in heaven in the presence of God, are the seven churches. What great news – just as we have guardian angels so our churches have an angel and our churches have a presence in heaven as well as on earth. Reminds me of those big candle stands we have in church as well. Glimpses of the church in heaven from the church on earth. The Mass – a bit of heaven on earth. This just gets better and better!