Revelation 1 gives us one of the most magnificent and majestic pictures of the deity and glory of Jesus that we see in all of Scripture. As we read and meditate on the text, our eyesight grows large and clear with our understanding of who Christ is, what He has done for us, and what He will continue to do. The revelation given by Christ, which follows in the rest of the book, is built on the foundation of the revelation of Jesus found in this chapter.
The impressions the images in the text are clearly those of glory, deity, majesty, power, authority, purity, and truth. Jesus is presented as God, but also as with God—separate, but the same (cf. Jn. 1.1).
John’s purposes in Revelation 1 are fourfold:
• If we know the truth about God and Jesus, we will not be deceived by the counterfeits who will show up to lead people astray.
• If we know the truth about God and Jesus, we will know that They hold history in their hands, and the events that will be portrayed are under Their sovereignty. While the world may seem to be out of control, God has all things in His hands.
• If we know the truth about God and Jesus, we will have all we need to stand firm and true in the time of trial.
• As believers we are to have a sense of hope and empowerment.