Revelation Chapter 5
VERSE 4 “So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it.”
SO I WEPT MUCH: It is certainly possible that the literal John had this reaction. The expectancy aroused by Chapter 4 would have him in great anticipation of the implied blessings from the scroll. It is more likely, however, that John here pictures the Church before Pentecost during which time the brethren were in great perplexity to find answers to all the questions awakened by the events of their day.
BECAUSE: (up to that time)
NO ONE WAS FOUND WORTHY TO OPEN AND READ THE SCROLL: (approved and thus given understanding)
OR TO LOOK AT IT: (“be justified to understand it even if it were made plain.”) New Albany Notes on Revelation
The Situation before the Lamb Proved Worthy
“In chapter 5, we find God’s plan and message sealed up in a scroll, and no one found worthy to open it. The seals implied that it could be read, but it would require someone special to open the seals. John was greatly upset because no one had been found worthy to open the scroll up to the time of the first advent. This was understandable since if this scroll could not have been opened, there would have been no means by which God’s plan could be unfurled and carried out.
Law and justice, the strong angel, in a sense had found everyone guilty up to this point, and there was no one able to satisfy him. When John first looked, no one had been found that could satisfy the law, and that is why he is seen weeping. In the same sense, when Jesus lay dead in the grave, the apostles including John were weeping because of what they had lost. They had thought that they had found the savior needed to restore Israel, but he was then taken from them and killed. What they didn’t realize was that when that happened, their original expectation of what Christ was going to do for them was actually found to be too small and too narrow. By his death and resurrection he can now bring life to all who accept his salvation, as we will see through the rest of this chapter.” (Revelation Notes, Southern Wisconsin)
“If the vision had commenced with the first verse of Chapter 5, it would have been difficult to rationalize John’s depth of feeling and emotional involvement as a spectator when he heard the strong angel’s announcement and subsequent silence (Verses 2 and 3). It is another matter entirely when the enactment of this drama is considered, in its proper perspective, to comprehend all of both the fourth and fifth chapters of the Apocalypse. Chapter 4 afforded an insight into the character of God, the Creator and Author of salvation and atonement. Though John had not read, up to this point, a single word of the scroll held in Jehovah’s right hand, he knew it contained something ultimately very favorable.
The holy joy and the optimistic enthusiasm voiced by the living creatures and the twenty-four elders extended and exuded into Chapter 5, creating a mood or aura of hope and expectancy. Consequently, the Apostle wept much when he heard the discouraging announcement of the strong angel that no one had the capability and authorization to execute God’s program. With such a hope deferred and Jehovah’s mission of mercy seemingly aborted, a cloud of mental and emotional frustration plunged John into a deep despondency. For not only was no one found worthy to open—to analyze, absorb, and execute—the great plan, but no one was found worthy even to gaze upon the external writing of the scroll and thus give an intelligent synopsis of the program contained within.
In summary then, the posture of Jehovah holding the scroll (Verses 1 to 4) is the condition of things that prevailed from Father Adam down through the ages to Christ, with particular attention focused on the end period of the Old Testament era.” (The Keys of Revelation)
We move on to Verse 5 in our next post.
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