1:3Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.

Blessed is he who READS and those who HEAR the words of the prophesy, and HEED the things which are written in it;

John clearly understood the way this prophesy ( = future events and present spiritual exhortations and warnings), was to be presented in the church. That is, a person reads (and receives this special blessing) and the audience listens and understands what is being read. Jesus, talking about himself, said in Matthew 13:16-17, that the hearers were privileged to listen to Him even as many prophets of old and future generations of righteous would not. The reading of the Revelation, thus, makes Jesus Christ come alive to the hearer just as though Jesus Himself was speaking the words.

Comparing the first three verses of this chapter with the conclusion in Revelation 22:6-21, we get the feeling that this Revelation should be read to the congregation in its entirety in one sitting. Perhaps this is the only way that the full blessing promised in this verse can be realized.

This verse contains the first of seven "Beatitudes" in Revelation:

Revelation 1:3
for the present day
Revelation 14:13
related to the Great Tribulation period.
Revelation 16:15
related to the Great Tribulation period.
Revelation 19:9
deals with the invitation to the marriage supper of the Lamb.
Revelation 20:6
points to the Millennium.
Revelation 22:7
Celestial City
Revelation 22:14
Celestial City

for the TIME IS NEAR.

Jesus Christ's return and the fulfillment of the Judgment as told in Revelation 11:15-18, John 21:20-23 and Acts 1:9-11 always has been imminent. We always are to be looking for His return.

If the TIME is near, why don't we see it arriving now. Because Christ is patient with the world and its inhabitants, 2 Peter 3:8-9 and the believers are still being transformed into their glorified forms - 2 Corinthians 3:17-18

Compared to eternity or forever, any time period is NEAR, whether it is one second or 2000 years. Thus all the apostles except for Peter (John 21:20-23, 2 Peter 1:12-15) had the hope of seeing the "TIME" even as we do today. Now that we are almost 2000 years closer, we definitely must get on with the "reading" (our effort in putting this into computerized form), the "hearing" (your effort to study this exposition), and the "heeding" (your actions which show that you paid attention to) the Revelation of Jesus Christ.