Summary: Seven words from The Revelation that stir God’s people to faith and faithfulness.
THE SEVEN BEATITUDES OF REVELATION
(Rev. 1:3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7; 22:14)
Big Idea: Seven words from The Revelation that stir God’s people to faith and faithfulness.
We are all familiar with the beatitudes of Jesus found in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5). But did you know that The Apostle John has a list of beatitudes too? His are here in The Revelation.
Jesus and John use the same word; “markarios” and it means “happy or blessed.” Scholars tell us the word has a sense of finality that rings through it. Markarios suggests one is “supremely blessed,” “very happy,” or “fulfilled.” I think I like that word!!!
John’s beatitudes are sprinkled throughout The Revelation and are, you guessed it, seven in number.
The number seven is a big deal in Hebrew theology. It represents completeness; finality. John, like other Bible authors, often communicates more than is on the written page by using this number and that is certainly the case in this book. There are seven churches, seven lamp stands, seven Spirits of God, seven seals, seven trumpets, seven bowls, seven angels, seven heads on a very strange beast and, now, seven beatitudes. All of these indicate that John is writing about events that will, just like the seven days of creation, find fulfillment, completion and finality in the victory of God. In using the number seven John reinforces the sense of finality or completeness in his beatitudes.
John is in essence saying; “Do you want to be happy” Do you want to find a sense of fulfillment? It is found in God and these seven ‘blessings’ will direct your steps towards His fulfillment.”
So seven “supremely blessed,” “very happy,” statements are scattered throughout what is a very solemn book. It’s like he has seasoned the book with them thus subtly, but clearly, changing the document’s tone. Maybe we should give them a look huh?
I am going to give you these seven beatitudes in seven words. Each of these texts has a deeper richer meaning than I can bring out in one sermon, but the selected word will give you a sense of some of the nuance of each blessing.
To help us I will use the acronym B-L-E-S-S-E-D and take them in the order they are found (Rev. 1:3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7; 22:14).
B = BRAVERY (1:3)
Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near. (Revelation 1:3, NASB)
Pastor John, and the seven churches he serves, are fully aware of the storm clouds on the horizon. They know that a deep sense of faith and resolve is required. From the outset he tells his people that they will find fulfillment, energy and joy by courageously holding fast.
Can I tell you a story?
Most of us who fly don't like to consider the possibility that we might be involved in a crash. While we usually understand that there is some element of risk associated with aviation, accidents happen to the other guy. Beyond that, statistics tell us that some 85% of all crashes happen on or near an airport, relatively close to civilization. If we survive the crash, help is going to be there soon.
Then there is the other 15%. On January 17, 1998 a young aviation student named Franco began his flight in Reno, Nevada bound for Columbia, California. The aircraft took off at 12:08 in the afternoon and headed south; a little under half an hour later it collided with high mountain terrain near Carson City, Nevada.
Franco has little memory of the accident itself. The last thing he remembers prior to going through the trees is seeing Carson City pass by on the left of the aircraft. Then he has flashes of the trees coming at him.
The aircraft hit the mountain at around 10,000 ft. elevation, coming to rest upside down. Most of the plane tore away including the wings, nose and forward cockpit.
The clearing where the aircraft came to rest was covered with about 4 feet of snow. Franco remained fastened in his seat dangling upside down. He was knocked unconscious during the initial impact. When he regained consciousness he oriented himself and began yelling for help. The temperature was about 25 degrees (F), the winds were gusting, he was getting very cold, and there was a very large storm predicted for later that evening. On top of that, his right femur and both ankles were broken.
Franco released the restraints and fell downward into the snow. As he looked around the area, he spotted and secured his cellular phone bag. He grabbed it and, realizing he had to get out of the wind before hypothermia set in, crawled in the snow around the wreckage, back to the cabin. The baggage door was damaged in the impact and jammed shut, forcing him to kick in a window to gain entry to the cabin--difficult and painful with both ankles broken. He finally succeeded and managed to worm his way through the window into the sheltered cabin.