person holding compass

Jesus Is No Tourist Trap But A Glorious Destination

In our Bible study on Tuesday afternoons at 2:30pm we have been studying the book of Revelation. Many people wonder “What is Revelation all about anyway?”

One great thing about the book of Revelation is that it answers that question for us. In the opening verse of the book St. John writes, ” The revelation of Jesus Christ…” The revealing of Jesus Christ. That’s the purpose of the book.

Revelation then goes on to reveal what the victory of Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world means. The book paints vivid and mysterious pictures that have roots in the Old Testament and the words of Jesus. Each time Jesus is always shown to be the final victor over sin, death and the devil.

Our discussions this week touched on the importance and joy of learning about Jesus from his word. Everything we learn and read about Jesus from the Bible will come true and when we see him in the resurrection we will rejoice. That is one common refrain in the beginning of Revelation, the constant singing and praising Jesus. I used the following analogy to help us understand why we should continue to seek to learn about Jesus.

When you are planning to go on a vacation you scout out the area. You want to know what there is to do in the area. You research the internet. You ask people who have been there. You get brochures. You also, if you’re like me, want to know what off the beaten path things there are. Not the typical tourist traps, but the unique things of the area. You learn why certain parts of town look the way they do. What is the importance of historical markers. You do all this so that when you arrive at your destination you have some context. This context makes seeing what might be an ordinary detail in a city or town be a very significant landmark or cultural icon.

Learning and researching the destination makes your arrival all the more significant. The location almost comes alive with stories and neat anecdotes that adds color to history. If you were in Hawaii and didn’t know the story of Pearl Harbor the sunken ships would just be that, sunken ships. But knowing the story, knowing the names, hearing the witnesses tell the stories makes visiting Pearl Harbor all the more rich and powerful. So it is with learning about Jesus.

This year we took a road trip to Utah, New Mexico and Colorado. In preparation we saw websites and pictures of our destinations. In particular we were in awe of the pictures of Bryce Canyon National Park. However, as the old line goes, “The pictures don’t do it justice.” When we arrived we were overjoyed to know that our expectations were blown away. Our joy in being there was a feeling I will never forget.

Learning and diving into God’s word prepares us for when we will meet Father, Son and Holy Spirit in person. Arriving at the resurrection and seeing God face to face will be amazing. But as you strive to learn more about God and his love for us in Christ, this will make seeing Christ all the more rich. When we are in heaven and then finally the resurrection we will rejoice. All of us will worship and give thanks. Learning about Christ and his promises and the reality of who he is makes our seeing him all remarkable.

Repenting of our sins and hearing the gospel, the good news of Jesus prepares us for the glory that is to come. Sometimes our sinful flesh though gets bored with God’s word. Don’t give up! Don’t despair! Keep learning. Keep praying for the Holy Spirit to restore unto you the joy of your salvation.

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Part of the joy I had this summer visiting all the new places was then teaching my children when we arrived at the destinations the things that I learned in preparation. Some of the things they shrugged off. Other details they thought were pretty amazing. Let’s do that with the gospel. Tell your families. Tell your friends. Jesus is the greatest destination you could possibly imagine. Let’s learn of him and then tell his story.

See you Sunday!

In Christ,
Pastor Ottmers