Summary: Message 2 of 7 in a series called Revelation taking practical lessons from what Jesus had to say to the 7 churches
We are in week 2 of a series called “Revelation”
In the first 3 chapters Jesus is speaking to 7 churches & I believe what He said to them can really help us. So through this series we are drawing out practical principles so we can be all that Jesus wants us to be!
I was recently wrestling with my son Maddox. Now I out weigh him by about 200 pounds so it’s really no contest. But he just laughs & laughs when we wrestle which makes me laugh too.
So we were going at it and I pinned him & he stopped laughing and gave me this very maniacal look, so I paused and cocked my head with a grin & said “what?” And then it happened…
I have him on his side & his back is to me, I am putting pressure on him and holding his arms against him…and he let the loudest fart rip…and then started laughing harder then ever as I choked & gagged at the nasty stench he just unleashed on me.
After I recovered from the gassing, I started thinking. That’s like a lot of people. When the pressure is on them, what comes out of them REALLY STINKS!
When life happens & difficulties come, they just become foul. When the pressure is on the resort to a stinky attitude. Their faces look all twisted up like the have been smelling farts.
Can anyone relate to what I’m talking about. Sadly difficult circumstances & situations can bring the worst things out of people.
But it doesn’t have to be that way, As we are going to see as we look at the next church Jesus speaks to in Revelation 2.
In Revelation 2:9-10 Jesus speaks to the church in Smyrna.
The name of the city “Smyrna” actually means “bitter” and that’s what it was like for the church in that city. They had it rough! But interestingly the root word for Smyrna is “myrrh”
And “myrrh” is an essential oil, it’s very fragrant. But it comes from a very thorny bush & the only way to extract the oil is the crush the plant.
So keep that picture in mind. A thorny, difficult bush contains something very fragrant. But to get the fragrance out, you need to deal with the thorns, & then it has to be crushed.
Jesus says… “I know about your suffering and your poverty—but you are rich! I know the blasphemy of those opposing you… Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer…But if you remain faithful even when facing death, I will give you the crown of life.” Revelation 2:9-10
Jesus says “I KNOW”
It’s kinda funny, but we seem to think that, there are things that Jesus doesn’t know or doesn’t see.
Jesus knows!!! He knew everything they were going through, He was well aware of their struggles, of their challenges, of their hardships.
So whatever you are facing right now, as hard as it may be, JESUS KNOWS! He is in the loop!
Jesus knew their suffering & their poverty. They were in abject poverty because they were followers of Jesus. The people of Smyrna made the Christians outcasts, wouldn’t allow them to work, made life horrible for them. But yet they remained faithful & loyal followers of Jesus. Even though it cost them everything, they were ALL IN with Jesus!
It’s easy to follow Jesus when things are going great, but when difficult times come, that’s when the rubber meets the road & we find out what we are really made of.
Jesus said He knew the “Blasphemy of those who opposing” these believers. Not only where they facing hard times, they had people actively talking trash about them.
But He encourages them to “REMAIN FAITHFUL” He tells them to hang in there.
Now it’s easy for someone on the outside of a situation to tell you to “Be Strong” “Hang In There” “Don’t Give Up” Because they aren’t the ones facing it.
But when Jesus says it, it is VERY different, because HE GETS IT, HE’S BEEN THERE!!!
Jesus “…understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin” Hebrews 4:15
Jesus has been there & done that!
Lied about? Yup!
Betrayed by a friends? Yup!
Put to death? That Too!
He tells them to stay strong, to hold on, to keep doing what they have been so faithfully doing!! And He has the moral authority to say it BECAUSE HE HAS BEEN THERE & DONE THAT & HAS THE SCARS TO PROVE IT!!
Jesus told His disciples in John 16:33…
“Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33