Jesus appears to John
9 I am John. I am a believer, as you are. I am like your brother and your friend. Because we belong to Jesus' kingdom, we are having trouble and pain. So we all need to be strong and patient, as Jesus helps us. The Roman leaders punished me because I taught God's message. I told people the true message about Jesus. That is why they sent me to Patmos island.
1:9Patmos island was near to the region called Asia. The Romans had sent John to Patmos because they did not want him to teach about Jesus. Patmos was a prison. The Romans would not let John leave Patmos.
10 On the Lord's day, God's Spirit caused me to see and to hear things. I heard a voice speak behind me. The sound was as loud as a trumpet. 11 The voice said: ‘When you see these things, write them in a book. Then you must send the book to the seven churches in these cities:
1:10‘The Lord's day’ may mean Sunday, the first day of the week. This was the day when Christians met together to worship God.Ephesus,Smyrna,Pergamum,Thyatira,Sardis,Philadelphia,Laodicea.’
12 I turned round to see who was speaking to me. When I turned, I saw seven gold lampstands with their lights. 13 In the middle of the lights, I saw someone like a son of man. He was wearing long clothes that reached down to his feet. He wore a gold belt around the top part of his body. 14 His head and his hair were white like sheep's hair. They were very white, like snow. His eyes were like fires that were burning brightly. 15 His feet shone like a metal that shines brightly in a very hot fire. When he spoke, his voice was very loud. It was like the sound of water that pours along a river very quickly. 16 He held seven stars in his right hand. A sword with two sharp edges came out of his mouth. His face was like the sun when it shines very brightly.
17 When I saw him, I fell down at his feet like a dead person. Then he put his right hand on me, and he said to me, ‘Do not be afraid! I am the one who is the first and also the last. 18 I am the one who always lives. I died once. But look! Now I am alive and I will be alive for ever. I have authority over death and over Hades, the place for dead people. 19 So write down the things that you have seen. Write about what you see that is happening now. Also write about the things that will happen later.
1:18This verse means that Jesus has authority. He will say when a person must die. He will also decide where the dead person's spirit will go. The Bible shows us that Hades is the place for dead people.
20 You saw seven stars that I held in my right hand. You saw seven lights in their gold lampstands. Now I will tell you what they mean. The seven stars show what the angels of the seven churches are like. The seven lights in their lampstands show what the seven churches themselves are like.’
1:20‘angels’ or perhaps it may mean ‘messengers’ or ‘leaders’.