By: Pastor Jarren Rogers
There’s a reason the Good News is called “good” news. It’s really good!
The fact that broken sinners such as us can experience unending grace, forgiveness, and love is a hope-filled message that we should be willing to share.
But as we see in the book of Revelation, there’s a bit more to it.
Revelation is packed full of incredible imagery. John relays his vision by telling stories and metaphors, many of which are difficult to wrap our minds around.
Many of these stories are completely original to the book of Revelation, giving us a glimpse into the heavenly realm, which is difficult for our human minds to comprehend.
Other stories are retold from other parts of Scripture.
Look at Revelation chapter 10, for example. This is a retelling of Ezekiel’s encounter with God in Ezekiel 3. God charges Ezekiel with bringing an important message to the people of Israel. Rather than simply relaying the message, God gives Ezekiel a scroll to eat, and Scripture says the scroll was as sweet as honey.
Fast-forward to John’s revelation. God tells John to approach an angel who is holding a scroll in his hand. When John gets to the angel, the angel tells him to eat the scroll. But this scroll had a different effect on John.
“It will turn your stomach sour, but ‘in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.’” (Revelation 10:9).
The original text in Ezekiel said nothing about the scroll being sour once it reached the stomach. This is a characteristic wholly unique to the message that John had to share: The Good News.
You see, the message of Jesus Christ is a honey-sweet message. It’s bursting with hope. To Jesus, every person is valued and loved, no matter their past mistakes. That’s a sweet message. But, when we truly invite the Spirit to come and abide in us, it can be painful.
When Jesus is free to make His home in our hearts, He cleans house. Day by day, through the power of the Spirit, He begins to shovel out the sin, the habits, and the things we hold dear that aren’t of Him. When we are convicted, we feel the tug of the Holy Spirit. He checks us when we participate in something that goes against God’s commands. Jesus pushes us, challenges us, and shapes us. And that can be difficult.
But even the sour taste of the message is Good News. Because with conviction comes repentance. When we lose the sinful things we hold dear, we find wholeness. When Christ comes in and cleans house, we are made more into His image, into the person we were created to be.
The Good News is honey-sweet, but also sour. My prayer is that God will never let us forget how sweet it truly is, and never let us stray from the sourness that God uses for growth, healing, and holiness.