This is what John gazed upon in awe and wonder. The elders, consecrated before God, representative of the whole Church, robed in the white garments of righteousness, and crowned with the glory of eternal life, having been sealed by the Holy Spirit.
Jesus’s promises to the assembly in Philadelphia included crowns and a throne, rewards that may seem anachronistic to those of us who never grew up with kings and queens in our governments. So, how do we understand what Jesus is saying to people like us, today?
Some have wondered if the ἄγγελος | angelos (which means messenger) of Smyrna might have been the Apostle John’s disciple Polycarp.
John’s message is particularly relevant today, as we also try to navigate increasingly treacherous times for Christians, seeking to embrace each other in love while also protecting those whom God has placed in our care from being deceived.