The imagery used here to describe heaven, the dwelling place of God and our Lord Jesus (and one day us as well) in these first few verses harkens back to Ezekiel 47:1-12. No longer will there be anything accursed, verse 3 says; and the tree of life will be there (see Genesis 2:9). This seems to be a symbol for the restored condition of things as they were between man and God before the fall (Genesis 3).
Verse 6 is a reminder that the other events spoken of in this book are to occur soon, but Jesus reminds that He is coming back (verse 7). John affirms in verse 8 that it was he that received all of these visions; and he fell down to worship the angel who showed him, but was rebuked for doing so, as the angel reminded him that only the Lord was to be worshiped.
Jesus again promises that He is coming to bring his recompense for each of us for what we have done (Isaiah 62:11). Verse 13 (“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end”) signifies the eternal supremacy of God and His Son. Verse 17 repeats the promise that eternal life is available freely to all who will come – Jesus paid the price for it already.
John finishes the New Testament with the yearning call to Jesus as Lord to come. Then finally, and appropriately: “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.”
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some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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