The theme of Daniel is not “be brave like Daniel.” It’s not end-time prophecy. The theme of Daniel is God. The original hearers were Jewish exiles whose world had ended with the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. Was God still in control? A. W. Tozer once wrote: “what comes into our minds when we think of God is the most important thing about us.” That’s what this magnificent OT book is about.
Rev. 22:6-21 serves as the epilogue to the Book of Revelation. John concludes this great book by reminding his readers of the authoritative nature of this book. He tells us that its words are “trustworthy and true” and that the one who obeys its teaching shall be eternally blessed. He also reminds us of the imminent return of Jesus Christ. Three times in this passage, Jesus says, “I am coming soon” (v. 7, 12, 20). For this reason, John says that those who are anxiously awaiting his return should remain steadfast in their pursuit of righteousness and holiness. Jesus promises to richly reward all those who faithfully persevere to the end. By the grace of God, all of the elect will attain entrance into the NewJerusalem where they will have free access to the Tree of Life for all eternity. Therefore, the church of every age joyously proclaims, “Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!”
In Rev. 22:1-5, John completes his description of the New Jerusalem. This passage identifies three basic things necessary for life: water, food, and health. John tells us that in the New Jerusalem there will be an abundance of each of these three commodities. We will drink from the River of Life; we will eat from the Tree of Life; and we will be enjoy health and prosperity simply by touching the leaves of the Tree of Life. In the New Jerusalem, God will fully satisfy all the needs of his people.
These verses bring Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians to a close. They include a benediction, probably the most well-known benediction other than Aaron’s, found in Numbers 6. What is a benediction? It’s noteworthy that these final verses are dripping with optimism and joy. How could Paul write such things to a church that was so dysfunctional and had hurt him so deeply?
In Rev. 21:9-27, John presents a marvelous vision of the New Jerusalem. While we may be tempted to think of the New Jerusalem as a place, John makes it clear that he is talking about a people – the eschatalogical community of the redeemed. He describes the eternal church as a beautiful bride walking down the aisle to meet her groom, Jesus Christ. And she is not only radiant in her beauty, she is also strong, secure and perfect in her holiness. The Lord God dwells within her gates, and the light of his countenance provides abundant illumination for all who are privileged to live there.
One last time Paul applies the principal of strength in weakness as he pastors the church in Corinth. What does it mean for us to likewise “pastor” one another?