2018-05-17 / Worship

To the angel in Smyrna

(Revelation 2:8-11)

Jesus writes this second letter to the church in Smyrna. It is the shortest of the seven letters to the seven churches. Why this is, we do not really know. It begins by speaking of Jesus in a specific manner saying, “These things saith the first and the last, which was dead and is alive.” (verse 8) We know that these words speak of Jesus who was the first of God himself who came all the way to Earth to be with man in a human body liken unto mankind. God made it possible for us to have human fellowship with Him through His only begotten Son, Jesus. This caused us to feel and know a closeness with God that the Old Testament humans did not know.

Jesus, introduced as the first and last, means the first and last of God’s human presence with mankind on Earth. This introduces to us what real human fellowship with God is like for mankind. Through Jesus we know that God understands us because Jesus experienced life liken unto our experience of life when He died on the Cross. We come to also know Jesus as God through Jesus’ resurrection from the dead when it says, “which was dead and is alive.” (verse 8b)

After this introduction Jesus says to us: “I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich), and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.” (verse 9) In the Old Testament, God’s people were known as Jews, but all of this changed with the introduction of Jesus and the New Testament days of God’s word. We came to be known as Christians.

Jesus gives us assurance when He says, “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer.” (verse 10a) Then we are warned of tribulations such as prison and even death, for us to be Christians. But Jesus says, “I will give thee a crown of life; He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.” (verse 11)

These verses to the church in Smyrna introduce us to the time on Earth when we come to be known as Christians, Believers in Christ, as our Saviour, not as Jews and Gentiles. This all began with the full establishment of God’s church on Earth through God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. It took place as the Church of Christ began to move into all parts of our world of life as human beings, with faith in God through Jesus.

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