They were dispersed over a large area and feeling quite alone. Experiencing great difficulty on many levels. They likely felt very discouraged. Perhaps they even questioned their faith in this carpenter from Nazareth who had come back to life.
I’m speaking of John’s intended audience, those first followers of Jesus who would have read the book or letter of Revelation and marveled at all the strange imagery.
I don’t imagine that the life of following Jesus was turning out exactly like they had expected. It seldom does.
John the Baptist saw Jesus and declared, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”
But just a short time later when he sat in jail about to lose his head, John sent disciples to ask Jesus if He was the One they had waited for or if they should wait for another. I’m guessing that John thought doing life with God would be different.
Hadn’t Jesus come to heal and comfort and restore? Why is following Him so difficult, so unpleasant at times? Is it really worth all the hardship and sacrifice?
In The Wizard of Oz Toto pulls back the curtain to reveal a man masquerading as the great and powerful Oz. They are given a different perspective on what’s really going on and who is in charge; and it’s a big disappointment.
But the peek behind the curtain given to John in the form of a vision is much different. In it we catch a glimpse of what life will be like in the very presence of God. And it’s awe-inspiring!
In John’s day, Rome appeared to be in control; but it was really God who was working behind the curtain of our reality.
In our day, Washington, D.C. appears to be in control; but it is really God who is working behind the curtain of our reality.
The center of the universe is heaven, and the center of heaven is a throne, and there is Someone, our triumphant God, sitting on the throne.
Why is following Jesus often so difficult now?
Because we are not home yet!
So hang in there and keep running the race. Keep fighting the good fight. Hold onto the faith.
One day soon God will make all things new!
© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.