• Jon Forrest

only the half can be told

The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest

Only the Half Can be Told

The famous explorer Marco Polo, after completing his journeys, returned to his home in Venice. When he arrived, Polo attempted to describe some of his experiences. But even his closest friends thought he had gone mad. The adventurer described black stones that you could actually set on fire to provide heat. But his audience could not imagine what he was talking about ... they had never heard of charcoal. He told them of a piece of cloth that, no matter how hard he tried, could not be set it on fire. They could not imagine what he was talking about ... they had never heard of asbestos. The explorer told them about large animals that were almost 20 feet long with jaws large enough to swallow a man, but they could not imagine what he was talking about ... they had never seen a crocodile. Polo excitedly told them of a substance that came spewing out of the ground. He explained that if you held a flame to it the substance would catch on fire and actually provide light, but they could not fathom this because they had never heard of crude oil.

Years later when Marco Polo was lying on his death bed one of the few men who actually believed him came to his side asking him to retell tell the stories again. But he refused saying, “It’s all true ... every bit of it. In fact, I have not told you half of what I saw.”

Can you imagine the difficulty the apostle John must have experienced describing the visions Jesus gave him on the Isle of Patmos when writing the book of Revelation? If the Holy Spirit had not been with him for inspiration, he could have never explained it as well as he did.

I can imagine someone asking John similar questions to the ones asked of Marco Polo. He easily could have said, “It was true, but I could barely tell you half of what I saw.”

Toward the end of the book of Revelation, John describes the lighting situation in heaven in Revelation 21:23, “The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.”

Last week, we looked Scripture describing Jesus as the “Light of the World.” Amazingly, even at the end of this world, when the new one is being described, Jesus is still the light. There is no need for the son or the moon because his glory emits all the light that is needed.

You see, the Savior, promised in the Old Testament prophecies would always be our light, from the time in Genesis 1, when God said, “let there be light and there was light, to the time when he would bring that light as a baby in Bethlehem to the time when accounts are settled and eternity begins. He is light because he is the eternal King. Can you imagine that? Neither can I, but I trust it in God’s Word. He has not told us even half of what we will see because we can’t take it in.

This Sunday, I will bring another Advent devotion at our morning service concerning the second Advent. Jesus has more than one coming.

The first time he came in love and service. Next time he will come in judgment and power.

Our message will come from Revelation 21:22-27 titled THE ETERNAL KING. I hope you will come and share in the excitement of our Lord and Savior’s plan to return and take us home with him.

Looking up,


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