Revelation 2: 18, 23 These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze…I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.
Question 8 in the BSF lesson 5 reads: What did you learn about Jesus when you compare verses 18 and 23 and how does this challenge or comfort you? What a question!
The images of Jesus in these passages are powerful and symbolic of the Risen Son. Eyes like blazing fire- eyes that burn through darkness and shadow, seeing beyond our façade into our hearts and souls.
In our small group, before open session, I shared that these verses brought to mind a hymn we sang when I was growing up, “Search me Oh God.” I recalled a sense of discomfort and sometimes conviction caused by the words.
Search me, O God, and know my heart today,
Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts, I pray;
See if there be some wicked way in me;
Cleanse me from every sin, and set me free
(James E. Orr, Public Domain)
Nothing about us is secret. He is El Roi, the God who sees (Genesis 16:3). Psalm 139 lays out the extent of this truth:
You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
Take a moment and really think about that.
We cannot hide who we really are from God. Nor can we hide our true motivations, our impure thoughts or the lack of forgiveness we may hold in our hearts. Might as well confess and be cleansed. Doing so will help us to lead a different life- one that proves out what we really believe.
Jesus knows that too.
In Revelation 2:19 the message to the church at Thyatira, continues:
“I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.”
Have you ever experienced those situations where you tried hard to do the right thing and somehow your true intentions were misunderstood? Or a time where you secretly helped someone but saved them the embarrassment of knowing who helped them? Or perhaps you instigated a successful project, did almost all the work and someone else got the credit?
So not only does Jesus see our sin and shame, he also sees our true convictions, our best efforts and good works done in secret.
Interestingly enough, the result of Jesus seeing both the good and the bad, if we believe and accept His complete work of His salvation, is the same. (Don’t forget, our good deeds don’t amount to much compared to what He has done.) It’s all covered over when we put on Christ.
Revelation 3:4-5 “Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. 5 The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels.”
What a comfort! Jesus cleanses us, dresses us in white and has our name in His book.
After our discussion group, I walked into the church sanctuary and sat down. Guess which hymn appeared on the overhead? Here is the second verse.
I praise Thee, Lord, for cleansing me from sin;
Fulfill Thy word and make me pure within;
Fill me with fire, where once I burned with shame;
Grant my desire to magnify Thy name.
Praise God, we are covered.
Note: This series of blogs, while growing out of a “Bible Study Fellowship” (BSF) study of Revelation, is not affiliated or endorsed by BSF. Nor are these blog any sort of definitive theological commentary. The opinions expressed here are simply my own thoughts and reflections on the book and what I am learning from the study.