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Sunday: On Patmos — 5 Comments

  1. I understand the benefits of isolation when you want to study. In the days when I was working on my research, the family were all living at home and I had a naturally noisy family. Some members of the family manage to talk even when they are breathing in! I was wrestling with some of the deep issues of computer science and there is no way you can do that with a conversation going on all around you. I survived by studying in the early hours of the morning. I would wake up and sneak into my study and spend a couple of hours nutting out solutions to problems. Of course, there was no point of staying in my study and keeping the solutions to myself. Eventually, I had to open the door of my study and publish the results for the benefit of whoever needed them.

    John, for whatever political/spiritual reason found himself isolated on Patmos and it provided him with the opportunity to see and record the great panorama of the battle between good and evil. And the results were published for the rest of us to appreciate and study.

    The experience of John is not an endorsement of the monastic life but it does remind us of Jesus' invitation to:

    And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. Mark 6:31

    Have you taken the opportunity yet to sit down in a quiet place and read Rev 1 right though yet?

  2. Patmos a place of imprisonment is the very place God uses to communicate with John
    Bethel a place alone in the wilderness Jacob is met with ladder to the gates of heaven.
    Ladder representing none other than Jesus Christ.
    In prison John Bunyan writes the book The Pilgrim's Progress.
    When satan thought he has imprisoned and locked away the fanciful servants of God, he is surprised to learn that he had fanned flames the work of the faithful servants beyond the walls of imprisonment.
    Have you felt alone and regarded by no one.
    Have no fear the most powerful place on the earth is where God dwells with humanity.
    My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be My people. Ezekiel 37:27

  3. After Jesus crucifiction, the Disciples went through a very dark period where it looked like Christianity had failed. In the midst of this, Jesus appears on the road to Emmaus (Lk 24:15) and then reveals Himself to the 11 remaining disciples back in Jerusalem (Lk 24:36). Jesus revelation of Himself at this time brought much needed encouragement to believers.

    Fast-forward a few decades and followers of Christianity again find themselves in another very dark period. Persecution has scattered believers all over and all disciples except John have been executed. John, the last remaining disciple has been exiled to Patmos and not heard from for some time. Letters written during this period have ceased and it is again feeling like Christianity is about to fail.

    Again, in the midst of this darkness, Jesus appears via revelation to John with a message of encouragement for believers.

    True to His parting promise to His followers recorded in Matt 28:20, Jesus repeatedly shows up in our darkest hours to encourage us that no matter how things look and feel, they will turn out. The darkness will not last forever.

    In Matt 24:25; Mk 13:23; and Jn 13:19; 14:29; 16:4, Jesus reminds us that we are told things ahead of time so that when they happen, our faith may be strengthened.

    Jesus, knowing first-hand what it is like to struggle in this sin-infected world (Heb 4:15,16) and being compassionate in nature (eg Matt 14:14), provides us with just what we need, just when we need it most.

  4. IF John was treated harshly on Patmos, notice that he never mentions it. What we do know is that John was faithful to the cause of his Lord and the gospel, and through this faithfulness was entrusted with the Revelation from Jesus in this barren place which God's providence had led John to. If we serve the Lord always, we will always be where He has led us. What better place to be? No matter where we find ourselves in God's service, Jesus is with us “always”, and holds the 7 stars in His right hand. Jesus, faithfully labors to keep the lamps burning bright, but unlike lamps, we must choose to cooperate with Him, being surrendered to His will and leading, accepting His counsel to "buy of Me...".

  5. John can also be the hero among the disciples due to what he went through. We can pass through difficult moments and situations but when we remain faithful our God is ever present and great to overcome the obstacles.


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