Beatitudes in Revelation (6)

Beatitudes in Revelation (6)

Beatitudes in Revelation (6).

“Look! I am coming soon! Blessed are those who obey the words of prophecy written in this book.” (Revelation 22:7).

“Blessed” = makarioi; a rich Greek word with many nuances, all in the context of enjoying God’s favor: fully satisfied; deeply joyful; delightfully content; profoundly happy; blissfully fulfilled. When Jesus declares that you are blessed, He is congratulating you, confidently affirming that God is active in your life. You are blessed when you put yourself in the position to be transformed by God. You are blessed, you are most fortunate, you are to be envied, because you now have the unexpected privilege of participating in the Kingdom of God. When you are blessed, you are aware that your blessedness does not depend on your outer circumstances. You are thus filled with hopeful joy. So when Jesus says that you are blessed, it is time to celebrate, for He is looking upon you with favor. In these Beatitudes, Jesus is saying that God wants us to be blessed, He is for us, He wants good to happen to us.

Jesus promised that those who keep the words of this Revelation will be blessed, and there’s no time to waste! I want you to enjoy God’s favor on earth while you can, Jesus is saying, because the time is drawing nigh. And here is how you can experience God’s fulfillment and deep satisfaction… keep these truths you are seeing and hearing. There are slight variations in the translations regarding the word “keep.” We see words like heed, observe, obey, lay to heart, carefully guard. The point is to personally respond to these truths in the prophecy. Don’t merely listen to the words being read, but respond to them by taking them into your life, by living in accordance with these truths. After all, these are words of the risen Christ, spoken for our benefit. Thus, these words are “entirely trustworthy and true” (Rev. 22:6). These words are a compass for our journey. We can’t wrong if we heed these truths, if we allow them to form our thinking and our doing. This beatitude takes us back to John’s first blessing in 1:3, where he advises us to “keep these things which are written” in this prophecy. The repetition is meaningful. Jesus doesn’t want us to forget it. Don’t just hear, but hear-do. Don’t just listen, but listen-obey. As Jesus says toward the end of the Sermon on the Mount, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21).