Revelation 22:13 sent me to the Greek. I was curious, are these words, Alpha and Omega, the First and Last, the Beginning and End, just three different interpretations of the same scriptural word or do they actually hold different meaning.
I love the richness that is found in doing this and encourage you to do the same when you get curious about a passage of scripture. I use an online reference bible, www.blueletterbible.com, for this. By selecting any passage you can go to the “interlinear” which shows the original Hebrew or Greek. These words then are linked to Strongs so you can see the definition of the word as well as other places in the bible where the same word is used and the context of those uses. Since we are at the end of our study of Revelation this week, I’ll digress and give an example of how valuable this can be. Take Genesis 2:18, where Eve is brought forth to be Adam’s “helper”. The word used here is “‘ezer”. However, before we fall into a trap of thinking this means assistant, support-staff, underling, or however else you think of “helper”, we see that every other time the word appears in scripture it applies to God. That God is our “‘ezer”. Clearly God helps us and assists us, but we don’t mistakenly think that makes us above God in those roles and relationships. Now, back to Revelation 22:13.
The three phrases do have different meanings or at least a different reference point. Alpha and Omega are letters, written and spoken words and language. First and Last are numerical, mathematical, all that can be counted and quantified. Beginning and End reflects physical matter, being, states of substance and existence, life.
When we step back and look at those, we see that Jesus is the master over all that is known to mankind. Every subject of higher learning is covered within these three bookends. All of literature, math, science, philosophy, all of the -logies, Jesus is at the beginning and the end.
And, as we would give advice to anyone going off to college or studying in school, we are called to pay attention to our great professor and learn from Jesus, not from the false-teachers, deceivers and those who seek to lure us into lies. As Peter wrote in 1 Peter 5:8a, “Be alert and of sober mind.”
Alpha and Omega, First and Last, Beginning and the end
All are sinners. But those with robes washed, have been purified by the blood of Christ’s sacrifice. The others chose not to and were judged and have been found to be impure, doing what is shameful and deceitful and they will never enter the holy city, drink of the water of life or eat from the tree of life and live forever. Instead, their path leads to death, eternal death
Washed – I have accepted the gift and received (and continue to receive as I repent of my sins), the right and honor to be called a brother to Christ Jesus
I ask Him to shine a light to my path. To help me stay alert. To help me stay focused and walking with Him daily, not distracted by the world. Also to be bold in telling the gospel.