Thursday, March 21, 2013

First And Last Name

The last book in the Bible is also the last inspired.  John recorded the Revelation of Jesus Christ given to him late in his life near the end of the first century. All the other Biblical books were completed years before. This last book speaks about last things and the last name in this book is Jesus. "Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen." 

And, if you read the last chapter in this last book, you will find that the last name was also the first.  Jesus said, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the end. . . I, Jesus have sent my angel to attest these things to you for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright Morning Star."

I know that it is not possible to live life anonymously. God didn't intend us to do so. John mentions himself several times in the book of Revelation itself. He identifies himself as the recipient of the vision of God. He tells the churches he is writing to that it is he, John, the apostle who is recording the words of Jesus. His identification as an apostle certified what he wrote. There were many people writing many things in the church then, just as I am writing this today. But, the vast majority of them had no apostolic authority to claim their words were from God. John's signature in this book let the church know it was from God through an apostle.

Yet, as John identifies himself, he does so, not as an authority, but as a brother "I, John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ," (Rev. 1:9).  And, the last mention of John in this last book is anything but boastful. He wrote, "I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. When I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had shown them to me. But he said to me, "Don't do that! I am a fellow slave with you, your brothers the prophets, and those who keep the words of this book. Worship God." (Rev. 22:8-9)

The first and last name in the Bible, and in history, is Jesus. How can you live today so that it is the first and last name of your day? How can you live today so that it is the first and last people hear from you?  How can you live this day so that what people remember about your life today is Jesus?