1:1Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bondservants, the things which must shortly take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John,

The REVELATION of Jesus Christ

To reveal something is to bring to our knowledge that which was hidden. We have been given the accounts of Jesus in His human form in the gospels. Now the apostle John is shown by visions the eternal form of Jesus Christ. In the broadest sense, it is a picture of a Bride (the body of true believers) and Her Bridegroom (Jesus Christ). The first five chapters in the Revelation of Jesus Christ are about the Bride. The middle section is about the Bridegroom preparing for the Marriage to the Bride. Last section, the married couple lives happily ever after (from Revelation 19 to the end of the book).

Spiritual visions are not new. One example in the Old Testament was of the dream given to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and interpreted by Beltashazzar (Daniel) - Daniel 2:27-30. The visions given to John are either left to us to interpret (from other symbols in the Bible) or are explained directly by an angel.

which God gave Him

In these four words, we are shown how God will be represented during these visions. Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus also contains all of God (Colossians 2:8-9-15). Yet here in the Revelation, Jesus is shown to be a separate person apart from God, the Father. The visions are passed from Father to Son.

to show to His bond-servants,

Now Jesus doesn't keep the visions to Himself. He shares them with His servants. These are not just an ordinary servant but rather a "bond-servant". A "bond-servant" was a person, who after serving a master as a slave to repay some indebtedness, could opt to remain as a servant to that master for the rest of his life. When that was agreed to by the master, a hole was pierced into the ear of the servant to indicate such a "bond-servant" status. This is described in Deuteronomy 15:12-18 . In the same manner, when we totally commit our lives to Jesus Christ, we become "bond-servants" to Him. Even more beautifully, Jesus Christ agrees to care for us for our eternal life.

the things which must shortly take place;

Time is a relative entity. Anything in the future, since we can't see into the future, is "shortly" or imminent. Depending upon your interpretation of this phrase, "shortly" may have meant 'in John's day'; it may have meant 'from the writing of this Revelation until now'; or it may mean 'from this writing and on forever'. Since much that is discussed in this book does not appear to have happened yet, most of the "shortly events" still have to happen.

and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John,

Angels are right in the middle of this revelation process. They play an important role (over 60 times they are mentioned in Revelation alone), in explaining and carrying out the events to occur. To have a heavenly messenger to give the visions is known to occur before - Daniel 10:10-14, 20-21.

So the Revelation of Jesus Christ comes to us like this:

    Jesus Christ
         angel (see also Revelation 22:16)
            John, a Bond Servant
                anyone (NE1) who has read and heeds this Revelation.