The real drama of Revelation starts in chapter 4.
Before we get to that, chapters 2 and 3 contain seven short letters, one addressed to each of the seven churches. Think of them as “cover letters” addressed to each church specifically about their unique situation, strengths and weaknesses, and challenges. At the same time, they are universally applicable, so we should learn from their examples.
Today’s reading, Chapter 2, contains a message to Ephesus, Symrna, Pergamum, and Thyatira. Note again the location of these cities.
Over and over in chapters 2 and 3 we see Jesus saying to the churches “I know your works”. He knows everything about them (and us). Some were compromising the teaching, especially in areas of morality. Some were facing intense persecution. Look for these ideas as you read.
There is also a lot of imagery which can sidetrack us. Try to look past some of it and get the general message for each church.
What is Jesus word to those who are compromising doctrinal or morally? See 5 and 16 for an example.
What do verses 10 and 13 tell us about what the churches of Smyrna and Pergamum were going through?
Many Christians today identify with Ephesus, especially verse 4. What do you think it means, “you left your first love”? What does he command them to do?
Tomorrow: Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.