The church in Smyrna was the “poorest but the purest of the seven” (Trapp).
The Christians in Smyrna experienced terrible tribulation, poverty, and slander while living in one of the richest areas in Asia.
But, what the world saw as poverty, Jesus saw as wealth (v 9).
👉 Our faithfulness is of great value – it is precious to Jesus.
👉 Two Points About Tribulation:
• Unlike with the other churches, Jesus offered no critique of the church in Smyrna. No “if you would have done this or if you hadn’t done that maybe you wouldn’t be suffering now.”
It’s a reminder that suffering is not always an indicator of sin. We can be doing the right thing and suffer for it.
• Jesus said that some of them would be thrown into prison for ten days. There is some debate on whether this meant a literal ten days, or ten years, or some other amount of time.
The point is that there is a set time for tribulation to end. There will come a day when Jesus says, “No more.”
👉 Jesus’ Encouragement to the Suffering (v 10)
• do not fear
• be faithful
👉 The one who overcomes:
• will be given the crown of life (v 10)
• will not be hurt by the second death (v 11)
[ Bible study tip: look for comparisons and contrasts. I love how the concepts of poor and rich are highlighted in this passage. The Lord is always calling out our misconceptions about things. What the world calls poor – Jesus calls rich. ]
Happy Saturday, friends. You are so loved.