“I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling.”
In this part of his letter to the church in Thyatira, Jesus calls for repentance. Though he does that in other letters too, in this letter repentance has center stage.
The situation has to do with a woman called Jezebel and her resistance to God’s call for repentance. Here we see that refusing to repent is like building a stone wall against God’s grace. God’s season of grace is filled with Jesus’ calls to God’s children to turn from their ways of disobedience and toward a life that is “in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25). We need to make good use of the time that God gives us for repentance.
When Jesus speaks about Jezebel’s “children,” we see how easy it can be to get caught up in a movement. It may be easy for us to ignore the call to repentance when we think, “Everyone is doing it!” Repentance demands that we listen more to Jesus than we do to our peers.
In Jesus’ address to the rest of the church, we see how repenting and turning away from false teaching helps the community to flourish and grow in authority to live God’s way. We need a caring, supporting, and loving church community, and we need to “hold on to what [we] have” until Jesus returns. Repentance works best when we work at it with fellow followers of Jesus.
Almighty God and loving good shepherd, thank you for your persistent and powerful calls to repent. Break down the walls we build. Let your kingdom come. Amen.
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