Lord, bless me with understanding and clarity. Open me to your message and love.
As with last Tuesday, today John is teaching us and stimulating our spiritual imagination by describing his spiritual city. Here he does more than just describe it. He reveals it thru a story complete with action and drama. The vision reveals what has happened and what will happen. He uses the image of Christ as the link between the past and the future. Caution, you really need to read the passage for any of this to make sense. I do not pretend to understand fully what this all means. I know that many learned people have spent many hours trying to interpret this vision. I am not one of these. The best I can do is describe my reaction to reading it on a personal level.
Before, starting the drama, John introduces the image of measuring the size of the “city” and its contents. Again, he uses a physical sense to position us in a spiritual world so we can relate to it. It strikes me to ponder – is it only on Tuesdays where this recurring theme of physical/spiritual nature of man is happening? Who knows??
John describes the (2) witnesses providing sustenance (olive tree) and direction (lamp stands) with the POWER of prophecy also with the POWER to destroy. I interpret that their message was not welcome and caused the Beast (the souls of man) to rise up and silence them.
God then intercedes and raises them and calls them to Heaven. He then destroys the “City” with much death and destruction (hurricanes, earthquakes, wars, disease). Does this sound familiar??? God establishes his authority of the earth. The 24 elders claim, “the Kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord and his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever”. God’s covenant with man is complete.
WOW! In one vision, John has captured the Old Testament image of God’s Lordship over the earth; only now he introduces Jesus as the ways and means of achieving this Lordship. The wonderful image of Jesus as the cleansing agent of the world bringing us all into relationship with God the Father Almighty.