3 John 1- Revelation 5- I am a priest!

Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms!!! 🌷🌸🌺

So, our reading this week, wow!! Right? There is so much to comment on in this week's reading! Again, I know that the things that stood out to me may not have stood out to you, but let's talk together about what we got out of the reading!

Me first! (haha)

Did you catch that we are all priests? (Rev. 1:6) I have never thought of myself as a priest! Yet, the way John put it,  we are "priests to serve his God and Father".  There are a lot of other things I would love to talk about in chapters 2-5, but this priest idea in chapter 1 caught me. We also just read from Peter that we are holy priests (1 Peter 2:5). I had to look into that a tad bit more since being a priest sounds like an important role and I am one who likes to know my job description and what is expected of me in my role as a priest.

In the Old Testament, the Levites were the priests.  Everybody back then knew that the Levites were "set apart" from the "set apart Israelites" and did all sorts of additional stuff to keep themselves even purer than their Israelite brothers. (See Leviticus 8-10 for more on that.)

When reading the Old Testament, we have the advantage of being on this side of the cross, to look back and see how EVERYTHING pointed to Jesus and his coming.

I found a beautiful section of scripture in the last book of the Old Testament that describes poetically how the verse in Revelation (that we are priests) has been fulfilled.  I read it thinking how God must have been giddy with excitement as he was building the crescendo of music (prophecies) to the climax, the coming of Christ. The music crescendos in Malachi leaving the audience holding their breath in a pregnant pause (in this case for 400 years) to explode on the scene of Christ incarnate. (Can't you just imagine God as a maestro in front of an orchestra?)  The plan from the very beginning, foreshadowed throughout the Old Testament, was to make all believers priests.  No wonder those angles burst out in glorious song, "Glory to God in the Highest!"(Luke 2:14)!!!! They were giving a standing ovation to God's master symphony!

Here's the Old Testament scripture:
"But who can endure the day of his coming?  Who can stand when he appears?  For he will be like a refiner's fire or a launderer's soap.  He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites (that's us) and refine them like gold and silver.  Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem (that's us- the new Jerusalem-see Rev 3:12) will be acceptable to the Lord, as in days gone by, as in former years."(Malachi 3:2-4)

Isn't that cool?!

So how do we righteous priests offer sacrifices?  I love what my commentary says for 1 Peter 2:5, "We offer ourselves as living sacrifices- daily laying aside our own desires. and putting our energy and resources at his disposal, trusting he will guide us." For Rev 1:6, my commentary says "We administer God's love to others."  We let people know what Jesus did for them.  Those are the roles of a priest serving God. I like that job description!! It's clear and concise, sacrifice my own desires and administer God's love to others by sharing what he has done for them.  Got it!

Now on to the tricky stuff in the rest of the apocalyptic writing of John.....


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