Revelation | 1:1-3 | 1:4-8 | 1:9-16 | 1:17-20 | 2:1-7 | 2:8-11 | 2:12-17 | 2:18-29 | 3:1-6 | 3:7-13 | 3:14-22 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8-15  | 16-22 | PDF |


Join us as we study through Revelation verse by verse. Our Bible study guides contain discussion questions, verse by verse commentary, and applications which can help you or your small group get the most out of this book as you grow in understanding and obedience.

Revelation 5 Bible Study With Commentary And Questions For Small Groups

Outline

I. The Scroll With Seven Seals (1-4)
II. The Lamb Is Worthy To Open The Scroll (5-7)
III. The Lamb Is Worshiped (8-14)

I. The Little Scroll With Seven Seals (1-4)

Discussion Questions

  • Who held this scroll?
  • What are your observations about the scroll?
  • What can you see about the importance of this scroll based on the focus it receives in heaven?
  • Why was nobody worthy to open the scroll (the angels in heaven for example have no sin)?
  • Why was John so disappointed?
  • What does this teach us about the importance of studying and learning?

Cross-References

Proverbs 25:2 – It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.

Revelation 4:11 – Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.

Verse by Verse Commentary

1. Then I saw… a scroll – The focus shifts. The scroll in the hand of God draws the attention of everyone in heaven. If this were a scene in a movie, the camera would focus in on the scroll and slowly zoom in. The curiosity of John (and all of the audience) is pricked.

What is this scroll?
What is the message?
Why is it so important?
What will the contents show?

The importance of this scroll is clear. Whatever the message within, it is critical. All those present desire to understand it.

2. The seven seals – A seal was used for several purposes.

A. To show the authority of the one issuing the decree – Every emperor of the ancient world would have a royal seal, often a ring. He would use this on official correspondence or laws to signify that he his authority stood behind whatever was written.

B. A seal would also keep something closed and private until the right time to open it – Wax seals were designed to clearly show when the seal had been broken. The item, often a letter, could not be opened without breaking the seal. Thus no one was allowed to tamper with it or get a sneak peak before the intended recipient. A seal safeguarded an item from tampering until its proper time.

These seals show us God’s authority behind the content of the scrolls. It is His royal decree about what is going to take place. They also show us that the contents were secret and unknown until the proper time for its opening arrived. Not even the angels knew the contents of this scroll. And that explains why everyone gives such rapt attention to the scroll. They all want to know what it contains and the contents have been secret until this point in time.

Daniel 12:4 Bible verse

Daniel was given a special glimpse into the contents, but he was not allowed to share those things. John, however, was authorized to share the content of his vision in order to prepare the church and the world for what is to come.

The number seven shows the completeness of the judgments within. Each separate seal unlocks a specific portion of the contents.

The seals remind us that the judgments contained within are ordained by God and will only happen according to His perfect timing after everything else in His plan for the world has already been fulfilled.

3. A mighty angel asks who is worthy to open the scroll – This mighty angel is not named. But evidently He is something of a heavenly messenger or herald to make announcements to the heavenly host.

He shouts out asking “who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?”

No one was found who was worthy.

Reflect: What qualities were necessary for the one opening the seals to possess?

The scroll contains God’s righteous judgments on a corrupt world. Therefore the one opening it must be qualified to execute these judgments. He must be holy and righteous, without sin. In addition, He must have authority as the divine judge.

John 5:22 – For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son.

Acts 17:31 – Because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.

Jesus is the one who has this divine authority. He already conquered death and the grave and even experienced God’s judgment firsthand. No one else can perform this role.

4. I began to weep loudly because no one was able to open the scroll –

As the search was going on, there was a period of time before Jesus stepped up. That heightened the desire of the audience to see the scroll opened and also served as a clear contrast, showing more publicly that Jesus alone was worthy

During this time, we can see the desire to know the contents of the scroll increasing exponentially. John is moved to tears because of his great sorrow that no one could open the scroll. From this we see an important characteristic of John. He has a great desire to learn and know more about God and His plan. There is an intense hunger to know the things of God. When that hunger is not satisfied, it affects him on an emotional level.

Application: Do you hunger for God’s word? When you encounter something you don’t understand, do you eagerly seek to learn more about it or just let it go?

II. The Lamb Is Worthy To Open The Scroll (5-7)

Discussion Questions

  • Who told John who would be able to open the scroll?
  • What does this show us about the knowledge level of the elders around the throne?
  • Who is the Lion of the tribe of Judah? Why is He called that?
  • Why is He called the Root of David?
  • Why is He worthy?
  • What are your observations about the Lamb?
  • What does the fact that He is worshiped (and receives that worship) show us about Him?

Cross-References

Proverbs 15:3 – The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.

2 Chronicles 16:9 – For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him. You have done foolishly in this, for from now on you will have wars.”

Verse by Verse Commentary

1. One of the elders said to me – From this short exchange we can get a bit of insight into heaven. Here are a few things we learn from this:

  • Conversations occur between people. You will be able to talk and communicate with others. It is not only singing and playing harps all the time.
  • The elder knew more about the situation than John did. This would indicate than when you are in heaven, you are always learning. You know more than those who just arrive.
  • The elder is teaching John. This would indicate that there will still be a role for people teaching other people as all believers continually learn and grow together into a better understanding of our Lord.

2. The Lion of the Tribe of Judah –

In the Old Testament, God compares Himself to a lion a couple of times.

Hosea 5:14 – For I will be like a lion to Ephraim, and like a young lion to the house of Judah. I, even I, will tear and go away; I will carry off, and no one shall rescue.