Summary of passage: John was exiled to the island of Patmos because of his beliefs in Jesus. He heard a voice tell him to write down and send to the seven churches a message. The 7 churches were: Ephesus Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.
John saw 7 golden lamp stands and Jesus dressed in a robe and a golden sash. He held 7 stars in his right hand and a sword came out of his mouth. Jesus put his hand on John and told him he is God and he holds the keys of death and Hades. He commands John to write what he has seen, including how the 7 stars represent the angels of the 7 churches and the 7 lamp stands are the 7 churches.
10a) On the island of Patmos in-between Turkey and Greece and he was suffering because of his belief in Jesus.
b) They were killed, stoned, beaten, driven out of their homes, lost their jobs, banished from their homes, exiled, re-located, and discriminated against.
11a) Personal Question. My answer: Same as last year’s answer. In comparison to others around the world, nothing. I live in America where I have the freedom of religion and speech. Increasingly, there has been a backlash against Christians but I have not experienced anything close to death or loss of livelihood, etc.
b) Personal Question. My answer: God is with you. You will be rewarded in heaven. He will triumph.
Conclusions: We have question 11a every year. It’s hard to compare today and 2000 years ago when persecution was as common as water. I’m extremely blessed to be alive in this time period as to then where I am free.
End Notes: PATMOS was a prisoner island where most of the inhabitants mined marble for Roman Empire use. It is 10 miles long and 6 miles wide, rocky and overall desolate. Because of the historical uses for Patmos, most scholars agree John was exiled there. However, Revelation just says John was there “because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus”. It is possible he was there as a missionary to the exiled prisoners.
This is the first of four times John mentions being in the Spirit. Scholars agree this means he received revelation from the Spirit and was not just literally walking in the Spirit. The four times John mentions this are: 1) Patmos (Revelation 1:10), 2) in heaven (Revelation 4:2), 3) in the wilderness (Revelation 17:3), and 4) on the mountain of God (Revelation 21:10).
Some also say “in the Spirit” means John was praying. Again, speculation.
What is the Lord’s Day? Scholars are unsure. Romans honored the emperor with Emperor’s Day the first day of the month so perhaps this was something similar. What scholars do agree on is this is NOT The Day of the Lord as mentioned in the Old Testament.
Some scholars say the Lord’s Day is Sunday morning because the early Christians traditionally gathered together on the first day of the week. Speculation. Ask yourself: would a man exiled on Patmos take the risk of gathering together with other Christians when he was exiled for being a Christian? Unless he was a missionary… Again, we just don’t know.
Note John was commanded to write (the first of 12 times he as commanded in the book of Revelation). This is a good lesson for us. Don’t just reveal visions to others unless commanded to do so. Some are meant to be private.
John responded. Very important. When called, respond. When hear Jesus, respond.
The number 7 is the number of completeness. Why these 7 churches? As I discussed BEFORE, it could be random. It could be because they are in a circular pattern on a good modern road. It could be because these letters are complete and these 7 churches represent complete churches. Scholars are unsure. Interestingly, Paul also wrote to 7 churches.
Point to us: These letters are for us–as the church.
Map of 7 Revelation Churches HERE
Day 5 discusses primarily Revelation 1:12-20. The commentary for those passages will follow Day 5.