Useful Bible Studies > Revelation Commentary > chapter 22

Who can enter the New Jerusalem?

Revelation 22:14

There are some small differences between the ancient copies of the Book of Revelation in its original language, Greek. In fact, there are more of these differences in the Book of Revelation than in other parts of the New Testament (the later part of the Bible). However, none of these differences affects the meaning of the Book of Revelation, and none is important.

We can sometimes see these differences in our English translations of the Bible. An example of that is Revelation 22:14. There, some Bibles say ĎBlessed (truly content) are those who wash their robes (clothes)í. Other Bibles say, ĎBlessed are those who do his (Godís) commandsí. Many experts think that the former words are more likely to be correct.

The words Ďdo his commandsí are easier to understand. If they are right, this passage is very similar to Psalm 119:1-2. The meaning is simply that we should obey Godís law. He has provided his commands (Deuteronomy 5:6-21); so that we can learn to serve him. However, we cannot do that simply by our own efforts, because we are all guilty of wrong and evil deeds (Romans 3:23). Instead, we must trust God, who can forgive us because of Christís death (Romans 5:8). Because of Christís death, we can live in a manner that pleases God (Romans 8:1-4).

The words Ďwash their robesí refer back to Revelation 7:14 and 19:7-8. The idea of clean clothes is a word-picture. It means that a person has a right relationship with God (compare Isaiah 1:18). In Revelation 7:14, the blood of the Lamb has made the clothes clean. The Lamb means Christ, so this is a reference to the effect of Christís death. A person can only have a right relationship with God because of Christís death.

So, the people who enter the New Jerusalem have a right relationship with God because of Christís death. God has forgiven them, and so their lives please him. The person who eats from the tree of life receives life; and that life will never end (Genesis 3:22). That is Godís promise to his people because of Jesus (John 3:16).

Next part: Who cannot enter the New Jerusalem? (Revelation 22:15)


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© 2016, Keith Simons.