Revelation 13

Today’s reading is Revelation 13.

We’ve all read or heard stories like this before. The Hero has to defeat a monster to save the kingdom or deliver the damsel in distress. Beowulf delivered Heorot from the monster, Grendel, and also from Grendel’s mother. Perseus saved Andromeda from Cetus. Our Hero must defeat His own set of monsters as well. We met the dragon in our previous reading. Today we meet the sea beast and the land beast. No doubt, we may find representative meanings for this triumvirate of monsters, but for the most part, we should see how this trinity of monsters mirrors and distorts the Holy Trinity of Father, Son, and Spirit. Further, at this point, we see the repeated cycle that it looks like the monsters are winning. The sea beast was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. The land beast is permitted so slay those who refuse to worship the beast. And that is where this reading ends. Sometimes it looks like our Hero is losing. But hang on. Jesus always wins!

 A Word for Our Kids

Hey kids, are you catching the story? There is a damsel in distress (the church). There is a Hero Prince. He has friends and supporters. But He also has enemies. There are dragons and monsters attacking His would-be bride, the city of His Father. The Hero must win. But like all good stories, there is the moment when it seems like all is lost for the Hero. In Revelation, we are see that story told in cycles. Each cycle gives us new and greater information. But, for all the weird stuff you see in Revelation, hang on to this story. Our Hero always wins. The monsters may have authority for a little while, but Jesus always wins.

Edwin Crozier