1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ.” ～ Dear disciple, in the opening verse you are informed that before you, nay, in your very hands is “the Revelation of Jesus Christ.” The Greek word translated “revelation” is “apocalypse,” which means: the unveiling. Therefore, my fellow disciples, you are told, in these very first strokes of John’s quill that Jesus Christ of Nazareth (who, according to Paul, is the mystery of God the Father [Col 2:1-2
]) is about to be unveiled before you.
“Which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass;” ～ The Son of God (i.e. the humanity of Christ) received this revelation from the Father (i.e. the Spirit, John 4:24) for the benefit of His “servants.” The servants mentioned here are, of course, all believers. Notice that the things concerning Jesus which are about to be revealed are to “shortly come to pass.” It is interesting, and important that both here and in the epilogue of this work the disciples are instructed to expect an imminent fulfillment of the Revelation’s predictions.
“And he sent and signified it by his angel.” ～ The Revelation is to be “signified” to John by the angel of Christ. From this word “esēmana” (from sēma) comes our English “sign;” esēmana means: to give a sign, or to make known. We may expect, then, for the subsequent revelation to be given in signs or symbolic images and language (see Vital Data, Literary Form). The phrase “his angel” may reference any number of possibilities. The word “angel” is the Greek word “angelos” meaning: a messenger, or envoy of God. This word, along with its plural, appears over 70 times in the Revelation. The word may apply to created angelic beings (Gen 28:12, Ps 68:17), or, redeemed saints (see 17:1 cf 19:10; and 21:9 cf 22:9), or more likely, in this case, “his angel” has the “angel of the LORD” in view. This view may be held with confidence because of chapter 22 and vv6 and 16. In v6 John records “...and to show unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.” This verse is clearly a companion to the verse under consideration here (1:1).
It should be pointed out at this point that Jesus identified this angel of the LORD as His angel (22:16): “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. ...”
A study of the Angel of the LORD (LORD=Yahweh) shows Him to be one and the same as Christ. The same statements made about the nature, character, mission, and activities of the angel of the LORD are also stated of Jesus.
Angel of the LORD Activity or Attribute Jesus
Genesis 16:7,13 Called “LORD” (YHWH) John 20:28
Genesis 48:15-16 Called-God Jude v25
Exodus 48:15-16 “I am” John 8:58
Exodus 13:20-23 Sent from God John 5:30
Joshua 5:13-18 Capt. of the LORD’s Host Isaiah 9:6
Isaiah 63:9 Redeemed His own Ephesians 5:25