1. Application

Knowing the Exalted Identity of Christ

Revelation 1:1–20 (ESV)

1 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,

The Lord Jesus has much to show John concerning what must happen in the New Testament dispensation. It is imperative that John and his readers first receive a proper understanding of who Jesus is. You cannot grasp what is to happen without first grasping that he who makes things happen is in fact the sovereign God. Moreover, the revelation of what is to happen would be too overwhelming for the seven churches if they did not first know that he who makes it happen is Jesus Christ, he who lived on earth and died for sinners, then arose and ascended into heaven.

We know Jesus from his earthly ministry as a true man, a person like we (see Matthew 13:55; Hebrews 2:17). The temptation is to see the ascended Jesus in the same way. The revelation of Revelation 1:1–20 makes clear that such an understanding of Jesus Christ is inadequate. As his divine nature was hidden while on earth so that people saw him simply as one of them, after his ascension into heaven is divine nature was hidden no longer. John sees Jesus as greatly exalted, with the fullness of his deity clearly evident. Let no one, then, underestimate this Christ and the work that he will do!