12 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” ~ Revelation 22:12-13
Here is the main idea of the passage: The gist of Revelation 22 can be summed up in verses 12 -13. Jesus is coming soon. Those who are in Christ will be in the presence of their Lord, with a restored Eden, for an eternity. Each person will be awarded according to how they live their lives out for God. He is the First and the Last. Everything begins and ends with Him.
“The central visionary part of Revelation ends with v. 5. The book now concludes with promise, exhortation, and confirmation in order to drive home the message of the visions and to stir up hope for the coming of the Lord Jesus (v. 20). Its major themes continue to be woven into this concluding section. There are many allusions to ch. 1.” (R.C. Sproul’s Reformation Study Bible Commentary)
2- “Tree of life…A symbol of both eternal life and continual blessing. The tree bears 12 fruits, one for each month, and is symbolic of the abundant variety in heaven. The English word therapeutic comes from the Greek word ‘healing.’ The leaves somehow enrich heavenly life, making it full and satisfying.” (John MacArthur Study Bible Commentary)
5- There is no darkness or nighttime. “Night has forever been banished.” (ESV Study Bible Commentary)
8-9- Angels are to never to be worshiped.
12-16- “On only two occasions in the Bible does Jesus identify himself by that sacred name. To Saul of Tarsus on the Damascus road he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting” (Acts 9:5; also 22:8; 26:15). At the end of the book of Revelation he announces, I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches (v. 16). These words continue without a break the speech of Jesus that began with the promise, “Behold, I am coming soon” (vv. 12-15). They are Jesus’ own restatement of the words of the long title at the book’s beginning (1:1-2) and of John’s words in 22:6: “The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.” (The IVP New Testament Commentary Series)
13- Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters in the Greek Alphabet.
How is this text applicable in the 21st Century?
“Reading Revelation imparts an urgency to our mission and message. It reminds us that history will have a final purpose and meaning in the return of Christ. Until the Lord comes again, Revelation calls the church to follow him rather than any Caesar, to be a holy people, and to attain the promises reserved for faithful overcomers who do not falter in the struggle against sin. Amen. Come Lord Jesus!” (The Asbury Bible Commentary)
“Eternity to the godly is a day that has no sunset; eternity to the wicked is a night that has no sunrise.” ~ Thomas Watson
Additional Readings: Revelation 22
Prayer: Father God, I pray that I put You first and last in my life. Help me live each day as though that is the day Jesus returns. I want to make every moment count for Your glory. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.