I don’t typically read a Scripture passage on Sunday, but since I missed Saturday’s reading (due to sleeping late), I decided to go back and pick it up. That reading was Revelation 14:1-5.
Now I wasn’t really thrilled about reading Revelation. This is probably more the fault of modern interpretations and presuppositions about Revelation than it is the fault of Revelation itself. The Revelation (which is the proper title of the book, the title John gives it at the beginning; not Revelations plural, not even Revelation, but THE Revelation, one single message from God) is actually a great book and even refers to itself as a book that ought to be read and treasured. But so much baggage has been imported onto the book by (bad) theologies in our day that I find it difficult to find a clear word from God in it.
Nonetheless, I asked the Spirit to show me what I needed to see and sat down to read. At first I didn’t catch anything, but then I noticed that line They (the 144,000) follow the Lamb wherever he goes. And in that was my word.
There were two things I saw in this line. The first was what my mentor called “a covenant word”, that is, a word about God. What I saw about God or Jesus, here portrayed as the Lamb, is that He is on the move. He is heading for a destination. The 144,000 follow Him wherever He goes, which indicates that He is indeed going somewhere. Though it isn’t stated directly in the text, I believe the implication is that He is going to a good place by a good route. He is God, after all, and if God goes, that’s undoubtedly where and how He does it. So that was the first word. It was a very picturesque word full of inviting imagery and poetry. God is heading somewhere, that somewhere is a good place, and the way He goes to that somewhere is a good way.
The second thing I saw was what my mentor called “a Kingdom word”, that is, a word about me, a word about how I respond to what I have just seen about God. The Kingdom word I saw here is that I must follow the Lamb wherever He goes. That is what the 144,000 (which I believe to be a symbolic number representing all believers in Jesus, a number which is not an elimination (as I would have seen it as a teenager) but an invitation) were doing. That is what all believers in Jesus do. And that is what I must do. I must follow Jesus to the place He is going. I must follow Jesus along the way He is going. Again, there is a great deal of imagery and poetry here which is perhaps hinted more than directly stated (or perhaps not; if God is doing the hinting then it is no hinting at all), and that imagery/poetry is very enticing to me. Following the Lamb wherever He goes seems like such a good thing to me. Following the Lamb wherever He goes seems not just right but wonderful.
As I thought about these words, I realized they should not be such a surprise to me. We disciples of Jesus are called “followers”, after all. Not only so, but the logo of the Moravian Church, a logo I see every time I open my Moravian Daily text app, says this:
But this still took me by surprise for some reason. It still took me by wonderful, beautiful, happy surprise. The truth that Jesus is going somewhere good in a good way and is inviting me to following Him to that place in that way is a wonderful, beautiful, and happy truth.
And that’s the truth I saw on December 14, 2019.