Updated: Dec 20, 2022
The book of Revelation opens with these words:
The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John (Revelation 1:1)
The idea that this is "the revelation of Jesus Christ" is that what is to follow is something that the Savior has revealed to us, and it reminds us afresh what an incredible mercy it is that God reveals hidden things to us. This revelation in particular is something that the church desperately needed and needs. It was given at a time that was far removed from the boom of the church in Acts 2. We find ourselves in these pages observing a time when almost all of the Apostles were dead and the church was facing great persecution. It was at this time that Christ delivered to the church a vision of glorious victory.
This revelation, furthermore, was given to Christ by His Father. This is the common way that the Godhead operates with regard to our redemption: The Father plans, the Son executes, and the Holy Spirit applies. So, the Father gave this revelation to Jesus, and it was for this purpose: "to show to His servants the things that must soon take place" (v. 1). Some argue that some or most of these things happened in the first century. Others argue that they have been happening ever since this revelation. Still others think that everything prophesied in this book is still in the future. We won't get into that now, but for now, let's just focus on the gift that it was for John to be able to peer into the future, especially given his present sufferings. How kind it was of God both to John and to us.
Finally, we see that "He made it known by sending His angel to His servant John" (v. 1). It was handed from the Father, to the Son, to an angel he sent to John.
So, what we'll see in these coming months is God's very revelation to us through Jesus Christ. We ought to receive it with eagerness and anticipation, for "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God." Furthermore, in our own time of suffering and longing, this book will be a balm to our souls. May God bless the reading of His word.