Jezebel

Kenneth Kuiper

READ : Revelation 2:18-29

What a great church! As Jesus evaluates His people in Thyatira, He praises the love, faith, service, and perseverance that characterized them. This was a very warm, caring, and active body of believers! And Jesus adds: “you are now doing more than you did at first.” Unlike the church in Ephesus (2:1-7), which had grown rather cold and legalistic, Thyatira was blossoming in its love for Jesus and for one another!

There was a “down side,” however, which troubled the Master. Unlike Ephesus, which could not “tolerate wicked men” and which “tested” all who claimed to speak for God, Thyatira had neither the doctrinal depth to detect damaging heresy nor the spiritual courage to uproot it. As a result, a “prophetess” Jesus symbolically calls “Jezebel” misled many in the congregation, causing them to sin. Jesus Himself would deal with Jezebel and her followers (vv. 21-23), but the church should have done so long before!

The lesson for us? Just this: in the church of Jesus Christ, we must always strive for a balance of two qualities love and purity. Like Thyatira, we should cultivate warm, caring fellowships. Like Ephesus, we need the depth to detect, and the backbone to uproot, that which is truly destructive in the body. Both love and purity are essential if we desire to please our Lord!

PRAYER

Holy, loving Lord, give us grace to balance love and purity in our lives and in Your church. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.