To our ears, “The Alpha and the Omega” sounds lofty. To the ears of John, the man to whom God gave this revelation of Himself, this title was closer to home. Alpha and Omega were the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. It was as if Jesus revealed Himself as “The A and the Z.” Which, of course, fits perfectly with the rest of the description in this verse, “the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”
Jesus literally was going back to the ABC’s to impart the message on His heart to His beloved son. He was picking something familiar to John, to bring the meaning home to him in a way that he could grasp.
In the same way, God regularly chooses symbols that mean something to us personally, to speak to our hearts. He takes the responsibility for making His communication clear to us. To fishermen, Jesus got his point across using an enormous catch of fish. To farmers, He spoke about seed, soil, and harvest. To parents, He conveyed Kingdom truth by bringing a small child to stand in their midst as visual aid.
He will always speak in our “heart language.” He will always find a way to talk to us that we can understand. I can testify to this. Several years ago, I spent a lot more time on Twitter than I do now. He would speak to me through Twitter. Once I shifted to spending more time in the blogger sphere, He also shifted right along with me, and began to speak to me through blogs that I would visit. He is watching closely what it is that has your attention, and He will speak to you through that means, if you are listening.
Jesus is literally is speaking to us constantly. Why, then, don’t we hear Him constantly? The bottom line is that we will all hear Him as much as we learn to listen for His voice. Listening is an art form that requires a whole lot of time, focus, discipline, and love. Jesus knows that not everyone is willing to put in this kind of effort. This is why He prefaces some of His statements with the words, “And if you are willing to receive it…” (Matt. 11:14, NKJV).
If we are willing. That is the defining phrase right there. The following verse in this passage goes on to say, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (v. 15). Not everyone has ears to hear. In fact, many of us have ears but do not hear Him (Matt. 13:13-15).
If you do have ears to hear, though, I have the best news for you. You are going to be enriched beyond what you could ever fathom. Jesus loves to talk to those who diligently lean in to listen to His melodious voice. He will eagerly talk to us all day long if we will listen all day long. More on this tomorrow!