In this chapter, John is first escorted inside the magnificent city of New Jerusalem then is taken back to Patmos to receive a final briefing from our Lord Jesus Christ.
v.1-2 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. Yes
Two remarkable elements of the magnificent city are revealed: A crystal clear river flowing from the throne of God and the “tree of life” seemingly planted squarely in the middle of it. Although both are highly symbolic of God’s provision of eternal life in Christ Jesus (see—John 4:10; 13-14; Rev.2:7), the tree, with its twelve kinds of fruits, is also meant for the consumption of the saints (Rev.2:7), and its leaves “for the healing of the nations”.
Let’s consider it.
Scripture doesn’t speak of a need to eat in heaven. So it’s safe to say that our resurrected bodies won’t require food to subsist, so the purpose of eating fruit from the tree of life is altogether distinct from survival. My own opinion is that it’s intended for a blessed communion together with God partaken of at future gatherings throughout eternity as a means of intimate fellowship between the saints and God. When He introduced the communion service, Jesus said, “But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now until that day when I drink it with you in My Father’s kingdom” (Matt.26:29). This seems to support the idea of a celestial gathering with Christ for fellowship and maybe explains why we would eat from the tree of life in heaven?
“And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” Though the “nations” are seemingly those who inhabit the new earth for eternity (see notes—Rev.21:24-26), the purpose for their “healing” is not easily interpreted. Perhaps, as some commentators suggest, the application is substantive—having to do with the fact that they enter eternity in physical bodies and therefore require a perpetual healing. Or as others suggest, it’s figurative, meant only to underscore the point that their flesh becomes new and never again experiences corruption. Whatever the case, we can be certain of God’s glorious provision for those written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
“Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You” (Ps.31:19)
v.3-5 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. And there shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.
The “curse” that God Himself imposed upon man and the planet in the Garden of Eden following the sin of man (Gen.3:16-19) shall be no more. It will not exist in the new heaven and the new world, nor will it ever again be implemented. All which is perfected will remain eternally perfect. For no lower nature or vile spirit will ever again exist and sin will never occur again; forever.
Moreover, the throne of God and of the Lamb shall dwell amongst men, and we shall see Him face-to-face. Throughout all of eternity there will be no dark places, nothing covered or concealed, and all will be shown by and all will be known in the eternal light of God Himself.