Jesus' letters to the seven churches at the beginning of Revelation have often been a source of direction and encouragement. While each of the letters follows the same format, each shines a light on the needs of a particular congregation and calls them to greater faith and faithfulness in Christ. Each letter presents Jesus in its own beautiful light ("who holds the seven stars in his right hand...the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David...the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God's creation...") and calls the congregation to rest upon their Savior. The unity and diversity of these letters is a reminder that every congregation is different but every congregation ultimately has the same deepest need: to worship God and grow in faithfulness.
Maybe one of the most encouraging parts of each letter is the way they begin. After introducing the divine author of the letter, they all begin with two simple words: "I know." Before problems are addressed or encouragement is given, Jesus tells each church, "I know."
_What _He knows changes from letter to letter. Sometimes He knows "your works, your toil, and your patient endurance" (Rev. 2:2) Sometimes He knows "your tribulation and your poverty" (2:9). And sometimes He knows "You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead" (3:1).
The omniscience of our Savior will be for many an extraordinary encouragement. There are many who don't know. There are many who don't see, can't see or have no desire to know much about us. All those other saviors we so often seek don't know or care. The people we rely upon, even those who care the most, do not know the deepest things of our hearts. But Jesus knows. He is your Creator and your best friend. His Spirit dwells within you and knows you far better than you even know yourself.
We can further be encouraged that Jesus' omniscience is not cold and merely scientific--His knowledge of His church always comes packaged with His powerful and heavenly love. How infinitely better is Christ than the vague spirituality of our day, which sends "thoughts and prayers" into space, hoping against hope that someone or something will hear and care. But we have a Savior who knows the words we speak before we speak them. We have a God who calls the apple of His eye and prays for us even when we aren't praying.
So whatever it is that you're facing, whatever troubles your church family is enduring, whatever discouragement or loneliness or sickness or distress you're feeling today, please believe that Jesus knows. And if you are His, then He not only knows but He cares.
Perhaps for some reading this, the omniscience of our Savior is more fearful than helpful. Perhaps you've compartmentalized your life so effectively that you believe and hope no one really knows you. Your secret sins are perfectly covered by how joyfully you act in worship. Your secret fears and lack of faith are hidden underneath a veneer of confidence and Christian rituals.
Please know the same is true for the faithful as for the failing: Jesus knows. He knows the secrets you haven't told anyone. And while you may be right to be afraid of such omniscience, your instinct to hide yourself even more simply won't work. Jesus' knowledge of you is an encouragement to come fully into His light, to wake up and repent, to receive the grace given to those who refuse to hide anymore. His promise is clear, "The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels." (3:5)
May this truth encourage, warn and call us today, that Jesus knows.
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