I have a confession to make. I like to follow the political process. I know, I know this year the process has been quite frustrating. We had around a myriad of republican candidate running and then we had the democratic candidates and by the end we had a myriad times a myriad of candidates running. But there is something interesting to me about it. But isn’t it funny how we expect one of these candidates to be “worthy”? I mean, think with me, is anyone really worthy to be the President of the United States? Is anyone really worthy to execute the duties of that office? Is anyone worthy to send men and women into battle? I am not saying don’t vote, definitely vote, I am simply saying that maybe the most worthy person is the person that recognized that he really is not worthy and no one else is either.
I would go further and say that I am not worthy to preach or serve as a pastor. I am not going to tell you of some secret sin, for that is not one to confess. I will simply tell you how can someone be worthy to preach the Bible? How can someone be worthy to handle the Word of God? How can someone be worthy to lead God’s people? No one is worthy. No one.
Let’s read Revelation 5:1-14 and my theme is that only Jesus is worthy.
Application: Humbly, Lean on Jesus. Be encouraged that there is someone Who will make things right.
Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” 3 But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. 4 I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. 5 Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
6 Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits[a] of God sent out into all the earth. 7 He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. 8 And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. 9 And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased for God
persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign[b] on the earth.”
11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they were saying:
“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!”
13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!”
14 The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.
- We see that no one is worthy, or so it appears (Rev. 5:1-4).
- Have you ever ben in a situation when it seemed like there was no one, really no one who could help?
- Think about it. We think, or at least I do, that there are always options. We have cell phones, we have access to all kinds of information.
- I watched a movie based on a true story about people climbing Mount Everest when some amazing storms hit. Really, we know Mount Everest we really cannot get help to you.
- We always can get help in most places, but in today’s world there are still places when there is no help.
- But even when we think we have help everywhere is it the help we really need?
- We need to fix creation. We need to get rid of sin. We need to get rid of murder, violence, stealing, unfaithfulness, poverty, gangs, government oppression, the Browns [okay that last one was a joke].
- We need help!
- They needed help in John’s day as well. The government was persecuting Christians, they were dying torturous deaths. Fallen Babylon was reigning and fallen Babylon meant that it was the fallen system.
- Now, we see these scrolls and we see in verse one that the scroll is written on on both sides. Usually a scroll was only written on on one side because it needed to be rolled up.
- This scrolls being written on on both sides is saying that it is complete.
- It has seven seals which is a number of completion.
- John weeps (verse 4) because he thinks no one is worthy.
- Again, he is overwhelmed seeing this vision of Heaven and then for a moment thinks that no one can help.
- How would you feel?
- Jesus is worthy, stop weeping (Revelation 5:5).
- It is like the elder is saying “Calm down!”
- The elders represent us. (likely)
- The Lamb, Jesus, is described (Rev. 5:6-7).
- There is all types of Jewish imagery here.
- Horns represent power.
- A Lion represents power
- Notice the description:
- Seven horns
- Seven eyes. They eyes are defined these eyes are the seven spirits of God which are sent out to the whole earth.
- This is all because of the cross.
- Verse 5 had said that Jesus has conquered.
- In the Greek: “The ‘Root of David is conquering’ to open the scroll.”
- The conquering allowed Jesus to open the scroll. The conquering is the cross.
- This is all about the cross.
- Jesus takes the scroll and is worshipped (Rev. 5:8-14)
- Verses 8-14 are similar to chapter 4.
- The four living creatures and the 24 elders are constantly bowing down.
- They are singing a new song.
- Verse 9 is about why Jesus is worthy:
- He was slain
- Purchased for God with His blood people from every nation to be a Kingdom and priests. Rev. 1:6)
- There is the emphasis on the cross and Jesus’ sacrifice. There is the emphasis on Him making us worthy to be priests, but how are
- So we get to verse 11 and there are myriads and myriads and thousands upon thousands of angels. A myriad is 10,000, so we have 10,000 times 10,000 times 1000 times 1000 angels with the 4 beasts and the 24 elders worshipping.
- This would be a loud worship service.
- We see what they say and then as they say it the elders are constantly falling down to worship.
Who is Worthy? Jesus. Jesus is the only One who is worthy. The only way that one is worthy to preach the Bible is to lean on Jesus for help, recognizing unworthiness. The only One who is worthy is Jesus.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
With that, let’s move into communion, recognizing Jesus’ worthiness.
God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)
Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)
Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)
Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)
Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)
Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)