The Book of Revelation is probably the least understood book of the Bible. It’s full of symbols and figures of speech, most of which are derived from the Old Testament. Some people insist that the book was written with our own era in mind and that one should interpret it in the light of current events. Obviously, this is not the case.
The book was written around the end of the first century when the Church was undergoing terrible persecution by the Roman Empire. It seemed to the early Christians that the world was overwhelming them. The message of the Book of Revelation to these people was one of encouragement to remain resolute in the face of persecution. It was also an encouragement for them to believe that Christ had already won the decisive victory over sin and death, a victory in which his faithful followers will share.
The book has an application for us because circumstances haven’t changed substantially over the last two thousand years. The early Christians sensed an apparent contradiction between the truth of their faith and their daily experience. Like them we live in a world which contradicts the values of our faith at almost every turn. We are not really persecuted nowadays, but the pressure of a money and pleasure-centred world flaunt their temptations before our eyes in an attempt to turn us aside from our faith and our values.
As Our Lord gave sight to the blind so he wants to enlighten us as to the true values of life. He wants us to know that we need not give in to sin. He wants us to know that it is possible to live according to his demanding teachings. And he wants us to know that these teachings are worthwhile, for they alone can enlighten us on the journey that leads to everlasting life.