Summary: The first lesson we learn from this last book of the Bible is from the author. We learn that every year of our lives should be a year of labor for the Lord, and a year of expectation that He will use us for His purpose. The rest of life can be the best of life is to be our motto at any age.
The Apostle John is the patron saint of everybody, for he is the hero of young and old alike. Jesus
called him to be His disciple when he was likely in his late teens. He was the youngest of the 12,
and is an example of the faith that Christ had in young people. John also lived the longest of the 12.
He was used of God for service right to the end, and so he is also an example of the value of older
people in discipleship. God used him to write down the last of the books of the Bible.
When the government looks for a man to go into space they select a man of maturity, but not a
man of old age. When God sought for a man to travel to heaven and see mysteries beyond what any
astronaut has ever seen in space, He choose a man well past our retirement age. John was a senior
citizen, but it was no rocking chair for him. He had an assignment far bigger than anyone ever had.
He was to be the recorder and reporter of the greatest revelation every given. God does not
discriminate against the aged. God is an equal opportunity employer. He uses young and old alike.
He has no retirement requirement, but will go on using a person as long as they live.
Your young men will see visions and your old men will dream dreams is the word of the prophet.
Nobody is to be left out in the task of fulfilling God's plan. This last book of the Bible is an
encouragement to all to plan to be used of God at any age. We should expect to do something great
for the Kingdom even when we are old. Alexander Maclaren wrote his famous Exposition of Holy
Scripture after he was 80. DaVinci was 77 when he painted the Last Supper. Tennyson was 81
when he wrote Crossing the Bar. The world is full of great works done by those who were old, and
we are studying one of the greatest of these works of the aged as we study Revelation. John was an
old man, but still a capable instrument in the hands of God.
The first lesson we learn from this last book of the Bible is from the author. We learn that every
year of our lives should be a year of labor for the Lord, and a year of expectation that He will use us
for His purpose. The rest of life can be the best of life is to be our motto at any age. Studies reveal
that the reason people get tired and fatigued in old age is not because of exhaustion but because of
stagnation. Life demands labor and expression. If we settle down to do nothing, we stop the springs
of energy and lose our motivation. If we keep on going and doing things, the waters of life's energy
keep flowing. John never stopped being active. He was always available for God's service and the
result was, he was used to his dying day.
John is not only a great example of love, but a great example of labor. He never did retire from
Christian service, and God used him to give the world this greatest of books-The Revelation of Jesus
Christ. In these opening verses he tells us of the source of the revelation; the subject of the
revelation, and the servants to whom the revelation is given. Let's consider first-
I. THE SOURCE OF THE REVELATION.
Notice it is not from John as the title in the King James Version might imply. It is not the
revelation of St. John the divine. That title was added by man. John tells us it is the revelation of
Jesus Christ which God gave Him. In other words, the ultimate source of this revelation is God the
Father. He gave it to His Son and His Son gave it to His angel, and the angel gave it to John, and
John gave it to us, the body of Christ. We see here a 5 rung ladder, as when an owner gives a plan
to his son, and the son takes it to the manager, and the manager gives it to the foreman who lays it
out for the workers. God may use many means to communicate with man, but he always begins
with His Son who is the Word. He is the first and the last, the alpha and omega. Everything God
does begins and ends with Jesus.
This book is not what John the Apostle is teaching us, but what our Lord, the master teacher,
wants us to know, for it is the revelation of Jesus Christ. We must approach this book with minds