In Revelation 2 and 3, Jesus communicates individual messages to seven different churches. Each message begins with the same two words: “I know.” He is the first and the last, the Amen, the holy and true one who walks among his churches, and he knows.
“I know where you dwell.” Jesus described Pergamum as “where Satan’s throne is.” It’s hard to imagine how bad the situation in that city had to be to warrant such a diagnosis and yet, there were saints–men and women who were holding fast to Jesus’ name and refusing to deny his faith. Wherever you are today, Jesus knows.
“I know your works.” Christians sprinkled throughout Asia were faithfully serving, toiling on, patiently enduring. In the eyes of the world, they had “little power,” but Jesus would continue to set before them open doors of opportunity. “Do not fear.” “Hold fast.” “Be faithful.” “I am coming.” Wherever you are serving today, Jesus knows.
“I know your love.” Some had abandoned the love they had at first. Others were lukewarm. Some had the reputation of being alive, but they were dead. Jesus spoke hard-to-hear, straightforward rebukes to many. “Wake up.” “You are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.” “Repent.” But notice the heart behind the rebukes: “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline.” However you have stumbled, Jesus continues to patiently stand at the door and graciously knock with love in his heart for you.
“I know.” Jesus knows how to grant me the right to the tree of life. Jesus knows how to clothe you in white garments, give you a new name, and confess you before his Father. Jesus knows how to keep us from being hurt by the second death.
Here’s the catch: it’s not enough for me to say, “I know” and leave him on the other side of the door. Each message of Jesus to the churches concludes with the same call: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” The door must be opened, his voice must be heeded, his lead must be followed, and no one can do that for me but me.