I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.
— Revelation 1:9

John explains to his first readers that he understands what it means to suffer for the cause of Christ. He is imprisoned on the island of Patmos “because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.” John confirms that anyone who follows Jesus is not excused from persecution. In fact, Jesus told his followers to expect it. As Jesus’ enemies did to him, they will do to his followers (John 15:18-20, 33). But Jesus also rose victorious from death and ascended to the Father’s right hand. And the church will follow. “Patient endurance” is needed through trials and suffering for God’s kingdom while his people live here on earth, but full life with God forever is promised for all who keep serving him. Next John notes that Jesus announces himself with a trumpet-like voice, telling him to write to the seven churches. John turns around to see who is speaking, and a man is standing there among seven lampstands, dressed in a royal robe, with hair and eyes reflecting images of the “Ancient of Days” in Daniel 7:9, and with a voice like the sound of rushing waters (see Ezekiel 43:2). This “son of man” can be trusted despite what his enemies might do, for this is Jesus, the Lord of his church!

King Jesus, you have “all authority in heaven and on earth” (Matt. 28:18). Give us courage to follow you faithfully each day, with all hope and trust in you. Amen.

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