Friday, October 14, 2016

Revelation 2:18-29

Revelation 2:18-29
And write to the messenger of the assembly in Thyatira.  The son of God – the one who has his eyes as a flame of fire and his feet similar to fine bronze – says these things.  I have known your works, love, faith, service, your enduring patience, and your many last works of the most important things.  But I have against you that you send away the woman Jezebel – the one who says she is a prophetess and leads my slaves away to commit fornication and to eat offerings sacrificed to idols.  And I gave a time to her in order that she should repent, and she does not desire to repent out of her fornication.  Look!  I throw her – and the ones who commit adultery with her – into a bed, into a great pressure if they should not repent out of her works.  And I will kill her children in death and all the assemblies will know that I am the one who searches the seats of thought and the hearts.  And I will give to you each according to your work.  And I say to you – the ones remaining in Thyatira – as many who have not taken this teaching whoever did not know Satan’s depth as they say – I do not throw upon you another burden.  But be strong enough to hold on firmly to what you have until I should come.  And the one who conquers and the one who keeps my works until the end, I will give to him authority upon the nations and he will shepherd them with a scepter made of iron as the earthen vessels are being broken into pieces.  And as I have received from my father I will also give to him the morning star.  The one who has an ear: hear what the spirit says to the assemblies.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

Jesus’ identity in this passage is that of having blazing eyes and feet of burnished bronze.  Remember that fire is a symbol of purification.  Jesus wants the people in Thyatira to understand that He is capable of purifying them.  He is capable of taking their weaknesses, they failings, and their temptations and purify them out.  As for the feet of bronze, remember that bronze is copper that has been mixed with alloys to be stronger and resist rust.  In other words, those who are unwilling to be purified will be able to look forward to encountering Jesus’ strength instead.  The people of Thyatira – and I daresay the entire human population – have a simple choice.  They can meet Jesus’ loving purification or they can meet his stern judgment.  That is the identity that we meet today.

Do you find yourself identifying more with the blazing eyes or the bronze feet today as you read this?  Why do you think that you find yourself drawn to the one that speaks to you at this time in your life?

Second Thought:

Next, we turn to the list of things that Jesus desires to uplift: works, love, faith, service, your enduring patience.  While this seems like a short list because it doesn’t take up much space, look at what the list encompasses.  Jesus upholds their works and their service; in other words, He lifts up their response to God’s love.  Jesus upholds their love and faith, which is a way of saying that their being reflects God’s love.  Jesus upholds their patient endurance, which is a way of saying that they are staying true to the faith in the midst of persecution.  When you think about this list, the reality is that while the list may not take up much space it is a pretty all-inclusive list.  The people of Thyatira have much going in their favor.

How are your works and service doing?  What about your love and faith?  Where are you patiently enduring persecution in the world on account of your faith?

Third Thought:

As before, we now turn to the list of complaints and challenge.  Notice that Jesus doesn’t really have much of a complaint against the church in Thyatira.  His complaint is against a specific person in Thyatira who is presenting herself as a prophetess and leading people astray in their faith.  The people of Thyatira aren’t doing anything wrong, it is someone in their midst!  This naturally brings us to the challenge.  While the people of Thyatira aren’t currently doing anything wrong, the challenge is that they might soon be guilty.  If they allow this disruptive woman to remain, they may all find themselves thrust into great persecution.  Thus, the challenge is to get rid of the woman’s teaching.  No wonder Jesus’ identity in this section is focused on the idea of fire and purification!  The challenge is to keep the faith until the end.  The challenge is to hold fast to the faith in spite of the temptation around them.

Where in your life are you tempted?  Where in your life can you hear these words and be reminded to stay strong and loyal to the faith?

Passage for Tomorrow: Revelation 3:1-6
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