Jesus’ Last Words – Revelation 22:20
Quiz time: What are the last recorded words of Jesus?
The answer is not as simple as finding his last words before he died because, of course, he rose again and spoke some more. Nor were his final words before leaving earth and ascending to heaven his last ones, because he’s still alive and the Bible records times when he spoke from heaven later on. So what’s the very last thing the Bible records him saying?
While you think it over, let me explain why it matters.
A person’s last words are a window into his heart. Let’s say my family is leaving on a trip without me. When I tell them good-bye, my last words might be “I love you” because my heart’s feelings rise to the surface at that moment. Or I might say, “Drive safely.” Maybe I’ll tell my kids, “Obey your mom.” I might even say something as mundane as, “Remember to pick up milk on the way home.” Whatever it is, it expresses some concern or hope I have for them or for the days ahead.
Well, the last words of Jesus express his greatest concern and hope for us. We get to see into his heart.
The heart of the Savior
So what did Jesus say at the end, when he had one last thing to tell us? Did he remind us to be good? Did he advise us to read our Bibles and pray? No. The last recorded words of Jesus are about his eagerness to be with us.
About sixty years after his ascension, Jesus made a final appearance to the apostle John. It’s recorded in the book of Revelation. He tells of his pending return and his final victory and judgment. Finally, there’s an invitation: “Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life” (Revelation 22:17, NLT).
Surrounding that invitation, Jesus says this three times: “I am coming soon” (Revelation 22:7, 12, 20, NLT).
So if you want to know what Jesus is thinking as he waits and works in heaven, it’s this. He’s eager for us to come to him. And he’s eager to come and be with us. This is his heart’s desire for us.
The hope of a sinner
There are so many times in life when it’s good to remember this.
When things are going well and we imagine that we don’t need to be close to Jesus, we must notice how much he wants to be close to us. He enjoys all the glories of heaven, and still his great desire is to come to us! Well then, imagine what joy that closeness could give us. Drawing near to him will surely be more rewarding than any of the shallow, worldly things we’re tempted to put first in life.
When things are going poorly and we feel trapped in sin, then also we must notice how he wants to be close to us. We fear sometimes that he’s inclined to scold us, so we keep our distance. But his heart is actually eager to forgive us and have us come near. Sinners who come to him for help are never turned away, nor even welcomed reluctantly or with a sigh. No, we’re embraced gladly, gripped by One whose great desire is to hold us close.
And when life nears its end and we face the fears of death, then again we must remember his desire to come soon. He is waiting, eagerly. Our deaths will not be too soon for him! He longs to have us at his side forever. He invites dying sinners to come. That’s a thought worthy of occupying our very last moments in this world.
Jack Klumpenhower is a writer and children’s ministry worker living in Colorado.