In Revelation 2:17 Jesus speaks a word of promise to the Christians in Pergamum. “To the one who conquers,” says Jesus, “I will give some of the hidden manna.” What does this mean? Continue reading...
In Revelation 2:17 Jesus speaks a word of promise to the Christians in Pergamum. “To the one who conquers,” says Jesus, “I will give some of the hidden manna.” What does this mean?
Hebrew tradition records that a pot of manna was preserved in the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 16:32-34; Hebrews 9:4). According to 2 Maccabees 2.4-7, when the temple was destroyed in 586 b.c., either Jeremiah or an angel supposedly rescued the ark, together with the manna, both of which would be preserved underground on Mt. Sinai until the messianic age, when the manna would again become the food for God’s people. When the Messiah would come, Jeremiah would reappear and deposit both ark and manna in the new temple in Jerusalem.
But the manna, most assuredly, is Jesus himself (John 6:48-51). The promise to those who “conquer” in Revelation 2:17, therefore, is the assurance that they will feast forever on the person of Christ! That’s a wonderful thought, a moving metaphor, but what does it mean?
It means that Jesus, and only Jesus, will be the sustenance of our body and soul for all eternity. On him alone shall we spiritually feed and draw strength. He is the source of our on-going and eternal life. We are forever dependent on the infusion of his grace and mercy, upheld in existence by the exertion of his marvelous power.
It means we will experience, in relation with him, depths of intimacy utterly inconceivable in our present state of being. Our fallen minds cannot conceive the dimensions of spiritual ecstasy that await us in the ages to come. Our deceitful hearts cannot fathom the spiritual joy we’ll feel forever as the magnitude of his affection for us is made known afresh each moment of each passing day.
It means that when it comes to our knowledge of his personality and the glory and wisdom of his ways, words such as “consummation” and “termination” and “completion” will be utterly out of place. The revelation of his character will be eternally incessant. The display of heretofore unknown facets of his beauty will suffer no lack.
It means that we will never grow weary of seeing his splendor or become bored with the disclosure of his grace. Jesus, as the manna of eternal life, will be an infinite supply of refreshment and joy and affirmation and delight. It means that just as eating now brings a physical satisfaction, as hunger pains are silenced and cravings are met, so the “bread of life” will satisfy our souls and enrich our resurrected bodies and fascinate our glorified minds beyond our wildest and most outrageous dreams!
It means that Jesus will be for us an endless, self-replenishing spring of refreshing water, an inexhaustible, infinitely abundant source of excitement and intrigue, an eternal, ever-increasing database of knowledge and insight and discovery that will never diminish in its capacity to enthrall and captivate. It means that because of Jesus, and Jesus alone, we will experience the odd but glorious sensation of never being deficient but always desiring increase, of ever being filled but constantly hungry for more.