Sunday School lesson July 26
This week begins a new unit. Entitled: Christ in the Revelation. This weeks lesson is : The Glorified Christ.
The glorified Jesus Christ has all authority.
Revelation chapter 1.
(1) This lesson is the first in our unit on the book of Revelation. In it we will focus on Johns initial vision of Jesus. This lesson is intended to underscore the significance of Jesus appearance, his relationship to the seven churches of Asia, and how the vision sets the stage for the rest of the book. Differing from the studies we sometimes do on revelation, this unit and this lesson do not focus on a lot of details regarding prophecies of the future. Rather, the unit and this lesson In particular encourages students to see the glorious Jesus as near to them and holding authority over the circumstances of their lives.
(2) Key Verse: I (Jesus) am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Revelation 1:18
(3) Often, children and some adults are drawn to and frightened by the scenes of Revelation. The various visions can be unsettling, leaving them with the nagging fear that they might miss the rapture and experience the dreadful scenes of the book. At the same time, however, they are filled with fascination.
As one grows in years and in the knowledge of Scripture, the dread is often replaced with questions and a sense of awe with the book. Revelations actually provides encouragement for Gods people, and a caution against aligning with the powers of this age.
(4) John recorded that he was on the island of Patmos “for the word of God” , “because of the word of God”. Patmos is a small volcanic island in the Aegean sea just off the west coast of turkey, known for its steep cliffs. While ancient Roman historians reported that the Romans used islands as prisons, Patmos is not among the islands typically listed. Therefore, we don’t know whether John was imprisoned there or if it was where he landed as a result of banishment. Regardless of the specifics, John was on this rocky isle because of his faithfulness to declare Gods word And testify to the lordship of Jesus.
(5) Clearly, John was not alone in suffering for the gospel. He called himself a brother and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ. We know from this description and some of the visions later in the text that Christians were undergoing a time of severe persecution.
(6) In the first century, the number of Christians and churches would have been relatively small. Yet this band of people from various ethnicities and statuses across the known world had become a target of hatred from the great powers of the earth. Now they were feeling the pain of that hatred.
(7) On this day, John was worshiping in the spirit and given supernatural vision. It is this vision he was eager to share with the churches. John knew that those who grasped the vision would be immensely blessed by what they came to understand.
(8) some have speculated as to whether these churches stand for different types of churches or different eras in the history of the church, but this is uncertain. It is most useful to recognize the historical fact that they were seven churches known to John in seven cities in Asia Minor. We do well to apply the messages to these churches in much the same way that we treat Paul’s letters to various churches.
(9) Revelation 1:9 reminds us that following Jesus includes experiencing tribulation, inheriting his kingdom and learning patient endurance. Consider how all three things together can make a difference in your discipleship. Don’t be surprised by the tribulations that come, but take comfort that the kingdom is his and he will triumph. If your experiencing trials, ask the lord for confidence in his victory and strength to endure faithfully.
(10) Jesus appearance sets the tone for the remainder of the book of Revelation. our lord rules over all powers. He is the Glorious Christ.
(11) This vision of Jesus is important to recall as we read the letters to the churches and the rest of Revelation. Through its chapters, Jesus remains glorious and worthy of worship. Meditate on this vision and incorporate it into your prayers. This vision inspires both confidence in Jesus and direction for worship. Take time this week to enter into praise and adoration of the Jesus revealed in Revelations 1.
(12) Jesus underscored his power and dominion. Even death is not to be feared for he has triumphed over it. His authority is confirmed and on display in his post-resurrected state.
(13) Recall that these churches are suffering under persecution. They must make choices to remain faithful to Jesus or yield there allegiance to the Roman emperor. In their hardships and throughout all the cataclysmic events to be revealed in this vision, they are reminded that Jesus stands with them.
(14) As we shall see in the next two lessons, some of the churches in Asia were experiencing external trials and others were living in a state of spiritual decay. In spite of this, Jesus was near to them. For those who are walking through tribulation, take heart: The lord who has triumphed over all stands near. He will strengthen you, and he assures you that you will share in the glory to come. For those who are not walking faithfully, beware: The lord is close by. His penetrating vision sees all, and his Word will pierce every heart. This week, ask the Holy Spirit to renew your vision so that Christ in his power and glory is restored to central place in your heart.