I think the opening sets the scene for the entire book and shows that the book is meant to encourage us (rather than baffle us!). In the first chapter we are flooded with reminders of who Jesus is and how much he has done for us. John lists them off at breakneck speed:
- unquestionably faithful,
- the resurrected one who guarantees our resurrection,
- the ruler of all rulers,
- the one who loves us,
- the Saviour who gave himself for us so that we could be free from sin, and
- the one who made us genuine servants of God.
These few verses contain so many descriptions of who Jesus is and what he has done and will do that it is no wonder that John then turns to immediately praise our Lord and Saviour.
Then, without pausing for breath, John reminds us that this same Jesus will appear as the supreme ruler and every single person will see him.
By listing what Jesus has already done for us as well as reminding us that he is faithful in the here and now, John shows us that we can trust Jesus with the future also. Jesus has said he would return and he will keep his word. His return is absolutely certain.
Many things will discourage us while we wait for Jesus to return. Sometimes we may feel that he will never return: it has been so long! Yet John helps us to realize that just as we trust Jesus to save us from our sins, we can trust him to be true to his word and return and rule in righteousness. The King of kings, our loving Saviour, will return. We can depend on Jesus to keep his promises.