Jesus said of the church in Smyrna that though they were poor they were rich. In doing so he adjusts any faulty understanding that we may have, specifically that following him will bring wealth and prosperity in this life. For the Christians at Smyrna following Jesus brought poverty and suffering, but they had the one thing they really prized and that was Jesus. Let’s continue to allow Jesus to adjust us as we look at what he says about himself.
And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life. (ESV) Rev 2:8
With this one phrase Jesus is defining the extent and nature of reality in a number of ways for them and us. First he is saying “I am God”. God says of himself in the OT:
Thus says the LORD (Yahweh) , the King of Israel
and his Redeemer, the LORD (Yahweh) of hosts:
“I am the first and I am the last;
besides me there is no god. Isaiah 44:6
He also uses these sort of titles at the beginning and end of the book of revelation:
“I am the Alpha and Omega” says the Lord God, “who is and was and is to come”. Rev 1:8
He who is seated on the throne said “….I am the alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end” Rev 21:6
So when Jesus takes on these titles at the beginning and end of the book He is stating his deity; That He is God.
“Fear not, I am the first and the last (ESV) Rev 1:17
I am the:
Alpha and the Omega,
the first and the last,
the beginning and the end. Rev 22:13
And when he speaks to the church in Smyrna it is this title that Jesus takes for himself:
“And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘These are the words of the first and the last (ESV) Rev 2:8
So there you have it. Jesus is God. I love the trinity. I have just ordered six books on it to help me put together a days teaching on it in a few weeks time. They are:
- Worshiping Trinity by Robin Parry
- The Message of the Trinity by Brian Edgar
- The forgotten Trinity by James R White
- Debating the trinity by Tim Chester
- The Holy Trinity by Robert Letham
- Making sense of the trinity by Millard J Erickson
Those, along with Wayne Grudem’s systematic theology should help me develop and focus my thinking.
Can’t wait to spend time thinking about it a but more. In the next blog I will look at how Jesus widens our perspective on reality.