John’s description shows us how Jesus Christ knows absolutely everything there is to know about these seven churches. Christ doesn’t merely stand in the midst of the churches. Instead, 2:1 says that He walks among them, scrutinizing them with a keen eye, examining them from every possible angle. Nothing can escape His notice. He’s fully aware of their every thought, intention, and motive, and He cares deeply for each one. His eye is on the church because He loves the church. What concern did the Lord Jesus have for the church at Ephesus?
Ephesus was the church that had everything but had lost the main thing. If we were to go there today, we would find nothing but ruins. In the first century, the city of Ephesus was the most important city in Asia Minor. Paul planted the church at Ephesus sometime around 52 AD. Timothy then became its pastor, as did the Apostle John. With a pastoral lineup like that, what more could a church want in faithful leaders? Paul, Timothy, and John! And yet notice that even Ephesus had its problems. To be sure, Jesus had some compliments to give to the church. He says, “I know your works!” He compliments them for works such as their good deeds, their endurance through trials, and their commitment to sound orthodoxy. Jesus has more positive to say about the church at Ephesus than He does negative, but He does have one serious concern—the church had left its first love. The church needed revival!
When love for Christ begins to slip, it doesn’t matter how busy you are. You’ll always go backward. We can serve, sacrifice, and suffer for Christ and yet not really love Him. We can attend services, teach classes, and preach sermons, and yet not really love Him. The Ephesian Christians were so busy maintaining separation that they were neglecting adoration. Labor is no substitute for love. In spite of the privileges that it enjoyed, the church at Ephesus was in danger of losing its light. The church that loses its love will soon lose its light, no matter all the good ‘stuff’ it has going on.
Has your love for Jesus waned? If so, then remember His grace, repent of sin, and simply return to Him.
For more, read Revelation 2:1-7