Tuesday, October 8, 2013


A Verse by Verse Study
My own personal journey

"A journey of studying what’s revealed to me!"

Jesus, His Hand, Your Comfort

Revelation 1: 17- And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. 18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.

He Laid His Right Hand on Me
When Jesus laid his hand on John I don’t believe this was in the context of the doctrine of “laying on of hands,” for all the different reasons we practice this in the New Testament Church.  I believe this was in the context of what Jesus said next, “Do not be afraid!” Yes, I know John had fallen down because of the awesomeness of what was happening.  There was Jesus appearing to him!  That same Jesus he had watched ascend into heaven was now back on earth appearing to him.  We’ve described his appearance in other notes so John had every reason to fall on his face!  Jesus laid his hand on him and said, “Do not be afraid!”  When Jesus walks into your living room, there may be at first a tendency to be afraid but when his love overwhelms you, you fear no more!

I don’t believe that was the only reason Jesus appeared to John (to show his awesomeness, make John afraid, and then tell him not to fear!)  I believe (and of course have 22 chapters of proof,) there was more needing to be said.  I also believe there was more to the touch.  I believe this was a comforting touch. In the Old Testament it was identification’s foreshadow.  The person laid their hand on the sacrificial lamb to identify with the one that would be slain.  Jesus was the one slain but here, instead of John identifying with him, he was identifying with John.  He was saying, “I know where you’re at! I’m alive and well and will be for all eternity.”  He was letting John know this wasn’t the end of the story.  Well he also knows where you’re at! He knows your address and this isn’t the end of the story! John was in prison. He had given his all to follow Jesus and it seemed things weren’t ending well.  Jesus was letting John know first of all: the experience was real; second: there was no reason to fear, and third: everything that had happened since John dropped everything to follow Jesus had not been in vain. In fact in our next study we’ll see Jesus telling John to “Write these things!”  He actually had more for John to do when John thought he was through.  You can apply that to your life as well. You may think you’ve done all you can for the kingdom and that your usefulness is through but God has more for you to do. Just as he goes on to tell John to “Write,” there is something he will ask you to do!

Here, Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid; I am the First and the Last.  I am he who lives and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. The Amen here literally means to “Stop and think on that!”  Let’s do that. Let’s stop and think on that!  It’s not over.  Jesus may have come and gone from this earth but he’s alive and well!  The story’s not over. He’s alive forevermore and the most exciting times are in the future! Hey!

If you’re in a place where things haven’t gone as expected, take some time with him today. I’m sure he’ll touch you just as he touched John. Let Jesus lay his hand on you today and comfort you.  Let him tell you, “Don’t be afraid.  I am he who lives and I am with you! I am the first and the last and you’re going to make it to the end of this present trial. It’s a good ending. I have the keys!”  He may also let you know, “The best is yet to come! There are exciting days ahead!” “Look to the horizon and you will see we will share an eternity of awesomeness!”  In fact he told John, “I am alive forevermore!” Wow! We have forever ahead of us! 

He Knows “The End” From “The Beginning”
For the body of Christ, that’s good news.  It’s not necessarily good news to those who won’t accept him.  There’s more to this story. We may have reached a climax but we haven’t reached the end.  For those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, there’s a good ending.  Just as in most books you can turn to the last page and know the end before you reach it, so we have been given the bible and we can know the end from the beginning!  Believe me, God knows!

Isaiah 46:9, 10 
Remember the former things of old,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like Me,
10 Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things that are not yet done,
Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
And I will do all My pleasure,’
God clearly does know the end from the beginning. If any of us were to look back on our lives, we would see that any time we received a sure Word from God it came to pass.  Many things God has told us have not come to pass but if he said it, it will come to pass!  So it is with the end times. It will end just as the back of the book says.

In light of that, I believe the hand on John was a hand of comfort.  When you are troubled, there’s nothing like a friend just laying their hand on you.  Somehow it takes away the fear and some of the pain.  Jesus was letting John know that even though he was in prison, the story wasn’t over.  Think on that. John is in prison no more! He’s in glory. At the time the hand was laid on him, he was still exiled but now at this moment he’s with Jesus before the throne of God!

You may be in the midst of your greatest trial but if you’re in the midst, you haven’t reached the end.  John was in the middle of his trial but now it’s over and the ending was good.  God has a hope and a future for you too! He has good plans for you just as he does for his entire body!

Jeremiah 29:11 for I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Things may not go the way you expected them to go just as they didn’t for John and all of the Christians of that day but the ending is good.  He gives us a future. He gives us a hope. He has plans for peace and not evil.  Just as the early church had to endure, so we may have to endure but there is an end and it is good.  It is peaceful.  We have something to hope for as a body and as an individual and it is good!  Just think, in the beginning, God said, “It is good,” and in the end we can say, “It is good!”  In the middle, we can say, “It is well with my soul because I have no fear! God has a hope and a future and it is good! He knows the end from the beginning and he has already declared it!”

Jesus goes on to say, “I have the keys of hell and death!”  For John that must have been a great comfort.  At the moment it seemed evil was loose and he and Jesus were standing together in the place of exile.  Jesus had been killed.  It was true he had risen, but yet, for the moment John was in prison.

Hell is a prison.  Once there a person will not be able to get out. The devil will be thrown there once and for all one day and will not be let out. So will millions that don’t choose Jesus.  For those that have chosen Jesus no matter where their lives are now, they will be free forever. There will never be another tear and there will never be another sorrow.  If there is anything you fear right now, (and John of all people had every reason to fear,) throw it at the feet of Jesus. Let him comfort you. He has the key and the story isn’t over.  He isn’t on the cross and he isn’t bound by chains, gates, bars or a stone. He’s alive forevermore and he has the keys.

He says, “I am the one who lives! I was dead but I’m not dead anymore! I’m alive!”  Jesus is alive and well and able to help. He says, “I’m the First and the Last!”  I can change that to modern English slang and say, “It ain’t over till it’s over!”  It ain’t over folks.  Things may at times look dim and grim.  Even as we move closer to the coming of the Lord we may see dark clouds on the horizon but it ain’t over!  There’s much to be done and we need to know that although we’re in the middle of the story, the story ends well.  Let’s allow Jesus to encourage us with these Words!  Let’s allow him to show us the back of the book.  Then let’s fear not and get on with the business of doing what he’s called us to do until we reach the end of the story.  Turn to the back of the book (the Bible,) and look at what it says:

Revelation 22:20, 21 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!  21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.  Amen.

It says I come quickly!  That’s the back of the book my friend, for both the body of Christ and for your trials.  The end comes quickly and so does the eternity of peace, so fear not! Amen!