Summary: Jesus reveals Himself personally in the context of His local churches.
1. Jesus reveals Himself fearfully
2. Jesus reveals Himself peacefully
3. Jesus reveals Himself clearly
I think that very few people would disagree with me when I say that one of the most influential people in America today is Oprah Winfrey. Every week, her TV show reaches 46 million people. She launched the most successful magazine in recent history with a circulation of 2.3 readers each month. Her website has 70 million hits per month. On that website, she has a new interactive classroom that has over 10 million people registered. Her following is so loyal and so devoted that if she endorses something, they buy it. And that’s where her book club comes into play. Oprah’s book club is the largest in the world with over 1 million members. If Oprah endorses a book, it’s guaranteed to become an instant best-seller. Within the past few weeks, three of the top four hardback books on the New York Times bestseller list were books that Oprah endorsed. And each one of them was New Age. One of them is by a man named Deepak Chopra. It’s called The Third Jesus. Here’s what this book says. It says the first Jesus is the historical Jesus. According to Chopra, we can’t really know anything about Him because we don’t really have any accurate historical accounts of Him. So the first Jesus doesn’t do us any good. Then there’s the second Jesus. According to him, that’s the Jesus that was made up by His disciples and the church. He says that the church made the second Jesus up and wrote the New Testament about Him to suit their needs. That’s the Jesus that’s intolerant and judgmental. That’s the One who claims to be absolute truth and the only way. He’s so intolerant and exclusive—He doesn’t do us any good either. So Chopra has come up with this third Jesus. He’s the one that’s some sort of New Age universal spirit. Something that we create in ourselves to all become at one with everything. Just because something carries the name of Jesus, doesn’t mean that it is Jesus. This week I saw video clip after video clip of women who claimed to be Christian. Women who said they were faithful church members. Women who were testifying as to how their eyes were now opened as to who the “real” Jesus is. Women who were walking headlong into the lies of these false prophets and saying they now really saw Jesus. Well, I’ve got news for you. If they were to see the real Jesus, they would know it. In our passage this morning, John sees the real Jesus. Verse 10 tells us that John was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day. And as he was in exile, there on the island of Patmos, Jesus showed him some things. He showed him and told him to write them down. Jesus showed John how he is intimately involved in His local churches by walking in their midst. He also showed him how He personally protects His local churches. But now notice what happens. John records the vision just like Jesus told him to. He fulfilled his responsibility. But that’s not where his focus is. His focus is on Jesus. This man who had daily walked with Jesus for at least three years. This man who had seen Jesus in a glorified state on the mount of transfiguration. This man who had seen the miracles. Who had felt his touch. Who had heard His voice. Who had even watched Him die. This man who had been one of the first to see the empty tomb. Who had seen the post-resurrection appearances. Who had watched Jesus ascend back into heaven. Who had been there on Pentecost and seen the promised giving of the Comforter. John had seen it all. He had seen it all so intimately close up that he called himself, “the one whom Jesus loved.” John had seen it all, but he had seen nothing like this. Now he gets to see Jesus in His glory. I want us to see Jesus here this morning. I want us to get rid of all our made-up images of Jesus and really see Him this morning. We won’t see Him in a personal vision like John did. But if we open our eyes, we will catch a glimpse of His glory. And we will see Him. We’ll see Him because He reveals Himself personally to us. Not in a vision like he did with John. He reveals Himself to us clearly and personally in His Word. In our passage this morning, we’re going to look at three ways that Jesus personally reveals Himself to His local churches. The first way is that He reveals Himself fearfully. Look at the first part of verse 17.