[The following devotional is a part of our 2015 Easter Season Devotional Book “Passion Road.” We will be posting a devotional each day on this blog between February 18 – April 5, 2014.]
Jesus’s Signature by Mark Robinson
Read: Revelation 2:1-3:22
What does Jesus look like? If you are like me and you close your eyes and ponder for a moment, you see a brown wavy haired, blue eyed gentle man who is peaceful and serene. This image of Christ is one that has been made popular in paintings that probably adorned the walls of your Sunday School classroom years ago. The Jesus in this painting is quiet and reflective. When I am quiet and reflective, this is the Jesus that I turn to . . . however, my life is often not quiet or reflective, so what do I do?
It is interesting to me that when Jesus writes letters to seven churches in Asia in Revelation 2-3, He does not simply sign His name “Jesus.” Instead, He adds a personal descriptor to His signature to remind all His followers who were living in a not so quiet or reflective world who He was and what He was about. For instance:
- To the religiously active but love-less church in Ephesus, Jesus describes Himself as the one who “walks among the 7 golden lampstands (Rev 2:1).” The lampstands (as symbols of the church) reminds the Ephesians that Jesus was WITH THEM, and desired to know them.
- To the persecuted church in Smyrna, Jesus describes Himself as “the First and the Last, who died and came to life again (Revelation 2:8).” What great comfort the people of Smyrna could gain by remembering that He who was also persecuted was raised in triumph!
- To the “only skin deep” church in Sardis, Jesus revealed Himself as the One who “holds the seven Spirits of God (Revelation 3:1).” This claim that Jesus held the full Spirit of God was meant as a reminder that Jesus saw beyond the physical world of reputations to understand the unseen spiritual world and what was going on in their hearts.
- To the small, poor, and seemingly insignificant church in Philadelphia, Jesus revealed Himself as the One who “holds the key of David (Revelation 3:7).” The One who holds the key to the kings treasury is the One who can give or withhold blessing. Jesus wanted the Philadelphians to know that though they were poor now, they would be rewarded later.
As I read these descriptions, it is a reminder to me that when we come to Jesus, we need to remember who He is. While the quiet and reflective Jesus is comforting at times, other times I need to remember His closeness, or His victory over the grave, or His truthfulness, or His ability to see all, or His Spirit, or His ability to bless, or His role as King. Since people are different and circumstances change, Jesus reveals Himself in all of His glory to us, so that as we approach Him, we know that He is there for all of our needs.
The next time your life is not quiet, close your eyes and think about Christ. Think not only of His appearance but of His signature. There is a signature feature of His character which is most appropriate for where you are. We can find encouragement and challenge for every situation.
- What about Jesus’s character is particularly encouraging to you given the circumstances you are facing in your life right now?
- Pray today and thank Jesus for as many aspects of His character that you can think of.