Persecuted for preaching the gospel, around A.D. 95, John was exiled to Patmos, an island on the Aegean Sea where he received a revelation from an angel of Christ.
In this revelation, Jesus commanded John to write down the visions and prophecies contained in the message and share it with the seven churches in Asia.
“1 To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, ‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: 2 I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars;” (Revelation 2:1-2)
First, John is called to write to the leader of the church at Ephesus, a fellowship started by Paul during his second missionary journey throughout the region in A.D. 52. Ephesus was the capital of Asia, the Roman province where Paul labored for over three years during which he refined the church and continued to advance the gospel of the living Christ.
Through John, Jesus commends the fellowship at Ephesus for their works, perseverance and for their unwavering desire to please God by exposing false prophets and showing them to be liars.
“3 and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary.” (Revelation 2:3)
Then, John reveals the Lord’s pleasure in the Ephesians’ tireless labor to further the Kingdom of God and advance the gospel of the risen Savior.
“4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” (Revelation 2:4)
In spite of their labor for the Lord, the Ephesians’ love for God had drifted away as their desire to serve was not as abundant, and their fire not burning as hot as it once did. All knowing, Jesus knew the Ephesians’ hearts and felt the need to remind them of the importance of keeping their focus on the foundation of their conversion which involved the great commission.
“5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.” (Revelation 2:5)
Jesus called on believers in Ephesus to look back to the day when their love for Him and desire to serve God were at their highest point, and use this benchmark as a starting point toward redemption.
Further more, the Lord warned that failure to repent and earnestly re-invest in the Kingdom of God would result in the death of the Ephesian church.
“6 But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.” (Revelation 2:6)
Jesus compliments to the Ephesians, commending them for their hatred of sexual sin which was wide spread among the Nicolaitans, a heretical sect derived from Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch. Though he was one of the seven disciples appointed to look after Jewish widows in Jerusalem who had been neglected in the daily distribution, Nicolas was eventually overcome by immorality and gave in to idolatry.
“7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”’ (Revelation 2:7)
Here, Jesus uses the familiar phrase He used in the parable of the sower to single out those in Him, disciples ready to hear and accept the truth. Next, the Lord extends a promise to believers who overcome evil through their sacrificial works and dedication to the great commission, that these would inherit a place in Heaven where each one would rejoice with the Son and the Father for all eternity. Let’s pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant John,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through your revelation delivered by your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre