Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near. (Revelation 1:3, NKJV)
This verse tells us something very special about the Revelation of Jesus Christ. There is a special blessing to those who read, hear, and keep the words of this prophecy. Early Christians read Scriptures out loud in their services even as we do at our church. Jews did this in their synagogues as well. The reason is that writing materials were quite rare and very expensive. Copies of the books that were parts of the Bible were scarce. So, a public reader served God’s people by allowing them to become familiar with the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
Second, the words must be heard. Those who listen must listen actively to the reading of God’s Word. We must pay close attention. People in John’s era were well-trained for this. They had exceptional memories because they had to have exceptional memories. We struggle to listen. It’s a lost art. My mind wanders when it shouldn’t. So, I force myself to actively listen by taking detailed notes. If the speaker is not especially gifted or structured, then I write down thoughts the Lord is teaching me through his sermon.
Third, they heard the words read with the intent of doing them. They desired to obey or keep the words of this prophecy. They were not mere hearers but doers of the prophecy.
While we are blessed whenever and wherever we read in the Holy Bible, there is a special blessing for us when we read, hear, and keep the words of this prophecy. Thank you, Lord Jesus!