Romans and Revelation
I have been impressed lately with the way Romans and Revelation seem to top the list of those book most Christians would agree are significant; yet simultaneously they sit together atop the list of those biblical books we assume are least likely to be understood. It does not have to be this way, however, since both books, I have noticed lately in reading their “prologues”, hang a massively important interpretive key right by the front door.
Romans opens this way: “Paul…set apart for the Gospel of God, which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son.” So this message that Paul is communicating is God’s good news about His Son! Romans is, and must be read, therefore as a book about Christ – meaning that any interpretation that does moor itself to this rock is bound to lose its bearings and drift into misinterpretation. Christ is the cornerstone, captstone, and primary consideration of Romans.
Similarly, Revelation opens with these words, “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His servants the things which must soon take place.” It perhaps goes without saying…but entering the book through this door means the material we encounter inside is not primarily about us, or evil figures, or events on the earth at the end of world history – except as the Father subpoenas any of that to reveal His Son. So we should come to this book to find and fasted our eyes on Jesus, trusting that in this way our heart will be held steadfast in love with Him through whatever tribulation may come.
Perhaps this stated centrality of their focus on Christ is part of why Romans and Revelation are recognized as both magisterial and multi-faceted – such is the nature and the beauty of the One they are written to reveal. May they both fulfill their divinely intended function in our lives and lead our hearts to worship Him.