Revelation 16:12 The sixth angel poured his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up in order to prepare the way for the kings from the east. 13 And I saw three foul spirits like frogs coming from the mouth of the dragon, from the mouth of the beast, and from the mouth of the false prophet. 14 These are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty. 15 (“See, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and is clothed, not going about naked and exposed to shame.”) 16 And they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Harmagedon.
What gets my attention this morning is v.15 in red letters. Many bibles highlight the sayings of Jesus by making them red in color. So in v.15 the writer of Revelation, the apostle John, is quoting Jesus. What I find interesting is that the saying of Jesus in v.15 here is not included in any other biblical texts. The phrase “coming like a thief” is found in the gospels, but not the part about being clothed and exposed and such.
Remember the writer John spent three years with Jesus as one of the original 12 disciples before Jesus death, resurrection, and ascension. He knew of many things that Jesus said, or that Jesus did, that were never written down. He says as much in the last verses of the gospel of John:
John 21:24 This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true. 25 But there are also many other things that Jesus did; if every one of them were written down, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.
Why is this significant? Because there is a lot we do NOT know about Lord. Our knowledge is limited to the things that are written in the scriptures – which is a tiny sample of all there is to know. I need to be open to the idea that there is much more to God (Father, Son, and Spirit) than I can know or understand. I need to be ready to be surprised by God and to resist the temptation to think I know it all because I know the scriptures.
Lord, reveal yourself to your servant. Amen.