Read: Revelation 1:4-18
I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingship and patient endurance in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony about Jesus.
I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me. When I turned, I saw seven gold lampstands, and among the lampstands was one like a son of man. He was clothed with a robe that reached to his feet, and around his chest he wore a gold sash. His head and his hair were white, like white wool or like snow. His eyes were like blazing flames. His feet were like polished bronze being refined in a furnace. His voice was like the roar of many waters. He held seven stars in his right hand. A sharp two-edged sword was coming out of his mouth. His face was shining as the sun shines in all its brightness.
When I saw him, I fell at his feet like a dead man. He placed his right hand on me and said, “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last—the Living One. I was dead and, see, I am alive forever and ever! I also hold the keys of death and hell.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
A catchphrase is a word or a sentence that makes you think of a certain person. Let’s see if you or your parents can guess who said these catchphrases:
- “Ugga Mugga!” – Daniel the Tiger’s way of saying “I love you!” (from a PBS kids’ show)
- “To infinity, and beyond!” – Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story
- Here’s one for your parents. “Hakuna Matata” – Timon and Pumbaa in The Lion King
- Here’s one to ask your grandparents. “And now for the rest of the story” – Paul Harvey
Maybe you have a catchphrase too. Something that you like to say all the time. Maybe your parents, teachers, and pastors have a catchphrase too. Something that they like to say all the time. Did you know that Jesus had a catchphrase too? Do you know what it was? He said it to John in our devotion text from Revelation chapter one. He said it many times in the New Testament. Some have counted over 300 variations of the phrase in the Bible. His catchphrase was, “Do not be afraid.”
John was afraid. He received this amazing vision of the resurrected Jesus standing among his churches (the lampstands) and his pastors (the stars) in all his glory. He wore a majestic kingly robe. His pureness shined bright white into John’s eyes. He spoke God’s Word (sharp two-edged sword) with authority.
If you’ve ever stood next to a college or professional athlete, you quickly notice how different you are from them. They are big and strong, even compared to your dad. It didn’t take John long to notice how different he was from Jesus. Jesus was perfect and holy. John was a sinner.
Because of this, John was terrified to stand in Jesus’ presence. But look at what Jesus does. He places his right hand on John. It’s the same thing your parent might do if you are having a bad day. And then Jesus says, “Do not be afraid… I was dead, and see, I am alive forever and ever!”
Jesus says the same thing to you today. He says the same thing to you every day. Although your sins are real, your Savior is too. And Jesus loves you. That’s why he died to take away your sins and rose so that he can put his arm around you in his Word and tell you, “Do not be afraid, now or forever.”
Dear Jesus, as you came to John, you come to us through your Word. Comfort us, especially in our sins and guilt, with your wonderful catchphrase, “Do not be afraid.” Allow us to live free from fear knowing that you are in control of everything. Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- What is something that is scary to you?
- What does Jesus love to tell you every day?
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- What’s a catchphrase from a television show you watch? Tell it to your family and see if your family knows who says it.
- What do you love about Jesus telling you over and over, “Do not be afraid”?
Questions for Middle School and Above
- Pick out a description of Jesus in the verses for today. What do you think it means? If you don’t know, send an email to your pastor. He would love to help you out!
- Next time you are afraid of something, what’s the first thing Jesus wants you to think about? Why can he say that to you?