[Jesus said,}â€You say, â€˜I am rich. I have everything I want. I donâ€™t need a thing!â€™ And you donâ€™t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. So I advise you to buy gold from meâ€”gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.
Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. â€œ Revelation 3:17-20 (NLT)
A few years ago, I began looking at the book of Revelation from a different perspective. I attended a Bible study that my husband, Henry, was teaching on Revelation. He proposed that if Revelation was meant to be a book of prediction and a timeline for tribulation and Jesus’ return, then God had failed in that mission. There are so many people who have written library shelves full of their interpretation of God’s vision to John. They all sound authoritative and very different. What if Revelation is a pastoral letter to us in the Church? What if it is more teaching about â€œif-thenâ€ consequences? What if I apply the lessons to my life now since Jesus said that I would not know the date and time of His return any way (Acts 1:7)?
How many times a week am I asked, â€œHey, Jody! How are you?â€ And I respond,â€Fineâ€. Maybe we’ll discuss another day about why I say, â€œFineâ€ when I am really not, but today Jesus is looking at me with that knowing look in His eye. He knows how I really am. Jesus knows the state of my mind, my spirit, my heart.
Jesus sees me how I really am. Like a physician who can tell by looking at a person’s eyes or how they walk or what their daily routine says about their health, Jesus knows my wounds and the state of their healing or if they have become more infected, silently killing me.
It is Jesus’ desire to heal and not allow me to continue to ignore a problem until it becomes unbearably painful. Jesus doesn’t want to just put a bandage over my wounds and cover them up like a model covers circles under her eyes with make-up. Jesus wants to go deep and expose the wound to His healing touch. He wants me whole and full of His joy which is the strength I need in this world. I need His healing for my eyes to see the truth of this world, not the lies and deception.
This portion of this letter in Revelation was addressed to a church in Laodicea that was just â€“ blah. They didn’t get excited about anything. Neither sin nor Jesus got them out of their seats and shouting â€œHallelujah!â€. They just glided through their lives day after day, never admitting their pain or any need.
Jesus is standing here today ready to spend time with me. And His time with me is not to be boring â€“ but to share an intimate time together like people do when they share a meal. He wants our relationship to be more than passing strangers who say, â€œFineâ€. Am I willing to answer His knock on the door to my heart? Am I willing to turn off my cell phone and allow my computer to hibernate and choose to spend time with my Savior?
Healing Rain by Michael W. Smith (2004)