1. Revelation 21:9 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

How would the angel encourage John?

Revelation 21:9 (ESV)

9 Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.”

Jesus Christ showed John on Patmos twenty centuries ago what the bride, the church, the New Jerusalem would look like in the fullness of time. John was very familiar with the circumstances of the seven churches of Asia Minor and had recently written down the seven letters that Jesus had dictated for these churches. So John knew that these seven churches were marked by abundant weakness, apostasy, lethargy, sloppy leadership, even oppression and persecution; in a word, the churches were a mess. While he has that mess in mind, an angel (as servant of Jesus Christ, Hebrews 1:14) showed John what glory the Lord was busy constructing from the present brokenness. The contrast could only encourage John (and his readers) to look beyond the mess to the glory that would be. The contrast invariably would also give renewed appreciation for the abilities of the Builder.