If these messages aren’t online yet, they soon will be–Jay, Alex and I have begun a Sunday series on the book of Revelation, using a book called “Discipleship on the Edge” (DOE) as a commentary guide. I’ve always been a little suspicious of commentaries because I’ve had a hard enough time on my own reading God’s word for instruction and insight without someone else’s “quiet time” over-influencing the process. Yes it’s odd.
For my message Sunday (“First Love-Jesus’ Rev 2 letter to the Ephesian church”), I incorporated many of the insights from DOE, and some from another recent read, “Velvet Elvis.” But I did add one of my own that, like all insights I guess, “came to me” as I was studying Revelation 2: knowing from DOE that “revelation” translates more like “unveiling” or “revealing,” I realized that Jesus starts that process with seven letters to seven churches. BEFORE he “unveils” what is and what is to come to the disciples, he does a very personal unveiling of what is going on in the seven churches of Asia–he reveals what they are and are not doing.
We (hopefully) crave spiritual insight. We want some ongoing “unveilings” of scripture as we read and study–real “meat,” something new. But perhaps the structure of Revelation points the way: only when we are first engaged in the unveiling of our own hearts will we encounter unveilings about God’s will for us in scripture. Heart inventory is a good thing, and that’s why Jesus spends so much time on it in Rev 2-3.