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In this blog, there will be a variety of material: thoughts on Bible books, book reviews, historical characters, aspects of Scottish church history and other things.

Monday, 6 February 2017

The Commendation of Jesus (Rev. 2:19, 24-25)

The commendation of Jesus once again shows the variety that exists in church life. He mentions the kinds of work in which his people in Thyatira engaged for him. Unlike the church in Ephesus, which was described in the first letter, their love was stronger now than to begin with. But unlike the church in Ephesus, they tolerated a false teacher and seemed not to know what to do with her and her followers.

We can see the strength of their inner lives in the commendation of Jesus. They had love, loyalty, desire to serve and determination to continue as his disciples. It looks as if they wanted to increase in their activities for him. Since their activities were connected to their love, they probably would find more areas of service.

We would regard a church with those strengths as a church to imitate. Its members did not have a cold Christianity. Those who joined the church must have found it to be welcoming and caring. It is not surprising that the devil would want to disrupt and destroy the witness of such a congregation. Perhaps we can say that the detail that was missing was alertness to his inevitable hostilities. They did not notice that he had planted some tares among the wheat and was working for their destruction. But Jesus had decided to come to their rescue and deliver them from the dangers they faced from false teaching, which is a reminder that he is the Good Shepherd who protects his flock.

Jesus then says in verse 25 that they should hold fast to those strengths, whatever would come their way. They were to remain as devoted until he comes. The reference to his coming may mean when he would deal with the false teacher and her followers, although that is unlikely because he intends to deal with them soon and he would want his followers to continue in their devotion after that time. So he is probably referring to his second coming.  He delights to see a church holding such strengths continually.

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