Revelation  2:18-29  (CLICK HERE FOR BIBLE VERSES)

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Revelation 2:18-29.  As usual, I encourage you to read the passage yourself first and see what you can glean with the Holy Spirit’s help, then read the GAME sharing below.  Let’s go!

Revelation 2:18 (NIV) 
18  “To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze.

On verse 18:  Jesus’ next message is for the church in Thyatira, a small city known for its agriculture and purple dye (see Acts 16:14).  To the church in Thyatira, Jesus describes Himself as the Son of God, “whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze” (v18).  According to some scholars, eyes like blazing fire and feet like burnished bronze are pictures of judgment.  That’s because Jesus has some tough words to speak to the church in Thyatira.

What can we learn from Jesus?  When Jesus comes again, He will not come as a suffering servant, but as the most glorious king and the most powerful judge the world has ever seen.  As much as I enjoy those cute, cartoony Sunday school images of Jesus, they don’t really do justice to how awesome the glorified, reigning Son of God – with eyes of blazing fire and feet of burnished bronze – really is now.

Revelation 2:19 (NIV) 
19  I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.

On verse 19:  As usual in his messages to the churches, Jesus begins with pointing out the good things He sees in His people before pointing out the areas where they need to improve.  Jesus is the greatest at speaking the truth in love.

Revelation 2:20 (NIV) 
20  Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.

On verse 20:  What exactly does Jesus mean by “[y]ou tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess” and who by her teaching “misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols”?  It appears that the church in Thyatira had allowed a false teacher or prophet to influence their church.  That false teacher/prophet was likely telling the Christians in Thyatira to go ahead and commit sexual immorality (i.e. have sex outside of marriage) and to “eat food sacrificed to idols” (which, as we discussed yesterday when looking at Revelation 2:14, may be another way of saying to get romantically involved with unbelievers).  It is unlikely that this false teacher/prophet’s actual name was Jezebel, for what spiritual leader would want to be named after the most wicked queen in Israel’s history?  Rather Jesus and John probably called this false teacher/prophet Jezebel as a way to bring attention to the fact that this person’s ministry was not beneficial but dangerous.

What can we learn from this?  We need to be vigilant about not allowing false teaching to influence what we believe or how we live.

Revelation 2:21-23 (NIV) 
21  I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling.
22  So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways.
23  I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.

On verse 21:  Notice that before Jesus sentenced this false teacher/prophet to their punishment, Jesus first gave the false teacher/prophet time to repent.   What can we learn from this?

1. Toward sinners like us, Jesus would rather extend His mercy than express His wrath.  So before Jesus decides to punish someone, He tends to give the person time to repent first. 

2. As merciful as Jesus is, Jesus will not wait forever for a person to repent.  When that person does not repent after a set time, Jesus will then bring the deserved punishment.  In so doing, Jesus shows that He is the One “who searches hearts and minds” and who repays people according to their deeds (v23).

Revelation 2:24-25 (NIV) 
24  Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets (I will not impose any other burden on you):
25  Only hold on to what you have until I come.

On verses 24-25:  For those who were not led astray by that false teacher/prophet, Jesus encourages them to “only hold on to what you have until I come” (v25).  That is, hang on to your faith in Jesus and in God’s Word no matter what.

Revelation 2:26-27 (NIV) 
26  To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations–
27  ‘He will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery’– just as I have received authority from my Father. 

On verses 26-27:   Here Jesus promises to give two things to those who overcome and who do His will to the end.  First, Jesus will give us “authority over the nations” (v26).  What kind of authority will He give us?  Jesus describes this authority by referencing Psalm 2:9 and saying, “He will rule them with an iron scepter; He will dash them to pieces like pottery”.  Here the word “rule” in Greek is poimainō and is the word for a pastor or shepherd.  In other words, the authority Jesus will give us His people in His kingdom is the authority of a shepherd who watches over His flock.  We will be helping Jesus shepherd nations in heaven.

What can we learn from this?  Praise God that Jesus has been given all authority in heaven and on earth, and yet He is so willing to share His authority with us His people (v26), just as He received authority from His Father (v27b).

Revelation 2:28-29 (NIV) 
28  I will also give him the morning star.
29  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

On verses 28-29:  There have been various interpretations for what “the morning star” means, but I believe the best one is that “the morning star” is a reference to Jesus Himself.  Later on in Revelation 22:16 Jesus will call Himself “the bright Morning Star”.

What can we learn from this?  The prize we get for hanging onto our faith in Jesus is that we get Jesus Himself!  We get to enjoy His presence and His love forever.  Jesus is the greatest prize of all.

Jesus, in You we see perfect wrath and perfect mercy, perfect power and perfect gentleness, perfect truth and perfect grace.  You hold all authority, and yet You share it with humility.  There are no words we can say and no pictures we can draw to fully describe how awesome You are.  In Jesus’ name, AMEN!

Copyright © 2021 Justin Lim. All rights reserved.