We come now to the final three blogs in this series called “How Grace Shall Reign” which I began in 2014. I started back then with a hypothesis, to see if the word of God would validate it:
If Jesus prayed for perfect unity among his disciples in John 17:20-23, just before he sacrificed himself to evil men in order to save us, perhaps the entire Bible metaphorically has a pulsing current like a rushing mountain stream, gathering power and beauty as it tumbles down the mountain to people like you and me. Such a rushing stream is always attractive to hikers passing by, and total strangers gather for a while to rest and refresh.
The metaphor is called Streamside, drawing people from everywhere to experience the freshness of answering Jesus’ parting wish for perfect unity among all believers. The Cycle of Perfect Unity (the “Cycle”) emerges quickly in the earliest pages of Genesis and continues all the way through the Bible to these final pages in Revelation. Little did I realize during my long journey through every verse of the Bible, knowing that the journey would be complete when we would reach the end of the Book of Revelation, that my hypothesis of a streamside metaphor would come into focus with Jesus’ own “River of the Water of Life,” thus confirming the validity of my hypothesis:
“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever” (Rev 22:1-5).
The river of the water of life, according to John’s vision, irrigates the tree of life, yielding fruit for those whose names have been recorded in the Jesus’ Book of Life, while the leaves of the tree of life are for the healing of the nations. John, of course, represents all people who choose the good fork in the road to perfect unity with Jesus, and are now citizens of the New Jerusalem, safe and sound for all eternity. So this final chapter in the Bible presents what perfect unity, that which Jesus prayed for in John 17:20-23, will look like. The angel continues advising John:
“And he said to me, ‘These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place’. ‘And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book’” (Rev 21:6-7).
As I write this, the world sits on the brink of a possible World War III. Yes, the nations badly need healing!
Hurry back for Part 2, as the angel continues showing his servants what is coming!