Useful Bible Studies > Revelation Commentary > chapter 14

Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord

Revelation 14:13

The Bible often declares that certain people are ‘blessed’. The most well-known of those passages is, perhaps, Christ’s words in Matthew 5:3-11. The word ‘blessed’ also appears at the start of several Psalms, including Psalms 1 and 119.

That word is MAKARIOS in the Greek language, and ASHREY in the Hebrew language. We could translate those words ‘truly content’. They describe the state of someone who is in a right relationship with God.

Christ’s use of the word ‘blessed’ in Matthew 5:3-11, therefore surprises us. He declares that poor people, humble people and desperate people are ‘blessed’ (truly content). Usually in this world, we expect people to be content if they are rich, important or famous! Christ, however declares that a person does not have to be rich or famous in order to be blessed. These things, which the world considers so important, cannot really satisfy anyone. Poor, humble and desperate people can be blessed because of what God wants to do in their lives.

However, even that passage hardly prepares us for God’s use of the word ‘blessed’ in Revelation 14:13. There, God declares that even dead people can be blessed (truly content). That seems extraordinary. God loves life: he created life, and he wants to give life to people (John 1:1-4). Death is his enemy (1 Corinthians 15:26; Revelation 20:14).

Of course, not all dead people are blessed. Wicked people are not blessed; they suffer the terrible punishment in Revelation 14:11. God only declares blessed those people who die in a right relationship with him. Such people have life that never ends (John 3:16). That life is in their spirits, and it even continues after the deaths of their bodies (John 11:25). They can never know the second death, that is, the death of their spirits (20:6). They have a place in heaven, and a permanent home in the New Jerusalem (Revelation chapter 21). So they are truly blessed.

Next part: The harvest from the world (Revelation 14:14-16)


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© 2016, Keith Simons.