3 [a]Blessed (happy, prosperous, to be admired) is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and who keep the things which are written in it [heeding them and taking them to heart]; for the time [of fulfillment] is near.
Message to the Seven Churches
4 [b]John, to the seven churches that are in [the province of] [c]Asia: [d]Grace [be granted] to you and peace [inner calm and spiritual well-being], from Him Who is [existing forever] and Who was [continually existing in the past] and Who is to come, and from [e]the seven Spirits that are before His throne,5 and from Jesus Christ, the [f]faithful and trustworthy Witness, the [g]Firstborn of the dead, and the Ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who [always] loves us and who [has once for all] [h]freed us [or washed us] from our sins by His own blood (His sacrificial death)—
Revelation 1:3This is the first of the seven promised blessings (beatitudes) of the Revelation. See also 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7, 14.
Revelation 1:4John and his brother James were among the first apostles chosen by Jesus, and were the sons of Zebedee and Salome. In addition to the Revelation, John wrote the Gospel and the three letters that bear his name.
Revelation 1:4The Roman province of Asia (now western Turkey) was formed in 129 b.c.
Revelation 1:4Like Paul, the apostle John takes the standard Jewish greeting of “Peace [Heb shalom] to you” and modifies it by adding grace, without which no one could obtain peace with God.
Revelation 1:4A literal translation, perhaps referring to the perfect fullness of the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
Revelation 1:5Jesus was not the first person to be brought back to life, since He raised others from the dead (the most notable being Lazarus, John 11), but they had to experience death again. Jesus is the first to be restored to life with a glorified (immortal, everlasting) body, never again to die. The word Firstborn may point not only to Jesus’ own resurrection but also to His divine power to resurrect others. The Firstborn (preeminent) is given power over all things.
Revelation 1:5Some manuscripts use “freed” (lusanti) while others use “washed” (lousanti). Either reading conveys a similar theological conclusion: Jesus has taken away our sins by His blood.
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