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Houlton United Methodist Church

Christ among the Churches

What image comes to your mind when you think of Jesus? One of the most popular images of Jesus would be a good shepherd who is holding lamb. But in the Book of Revelation the image of Jesus is a little bit different. In fact, revelation is full of symbolism – unfamiliar imagery, symbols, and numbers. Why so many confusing symbolic languages? There are at least two possible answers. The first answer is that John had to use symbolic language because it was almost impossible to describe what he saw, the heavenly vision, in limited human language. More importantly, the second answer is that John’s use of symbols is very similar to Jesus’ use of parables. Then why did Jesus use parables? In Matthew 13:13-14 Jesus said to his disciples, “I speak to them [crowd] in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” By speaking in parables, Jesus did wake up his believing listeners, but for unbelievers parables made no sense.

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