In this section of The letter to the persecuted church in Smyrna, we’ll look at the “But …” section. Usually, this is not good news for the receiving church. Often, it’s a caveat that goes along with the Divine Knowledge. But something unusual happens in this letter.
What does it mean when there’s no feedback?
There is no “But …” section in the letter to the church in Smyrna. What’s going on? Is its absence good or bad? Read on, and we’ll find out.
But (pun intended), before we resume with the letter to the church in Smyrna, here’s the breakdown for this particular letter.
|To||the angel of the church in Smyrna|
|From||him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again.|
|Divine Knowledge||I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.|
|So -||Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.|
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
|To those who overcome||He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.|
“But …” for the persecuted church in Smyrna
As I said – I have nothing in this section for the church in Smyrna.
If you have things here — that’s fine. The only thing I ask is that you know why you have them here – and not someplace else.
That may seem like a pointless exercise. But I feel like it’s important. I often write about owning our faith. We must know why we believe what we believe. Not knowing where to put the various parts of each letter, I believe, might mean we haven’t fully thought things out.
Remember – a large part of this process is to be sure we have learned the lessons for each of the churches. How they applied to each church. But also how they apply to us. And our views will / should change over time. Change with our hopefully growing faith. And as our faith grows – so should our understanding.
But if we never check – what have we really learned?
This almost seems too short to make it a separate article. However, in order to maintain the structure of each letter and its corresponding analysis, it feels necessary. Less confusing. And so, this is it. Very short.
And yet, it still is thought-provoking. Just what does it mean when Jesus has no “But …” section in the letter? Hopefully it’s good news. And it is. But it’s good news in the sense James wrote about. Not necessarily the way we hope.
Please read on to find out what that means.
As always, the next portion of the letter to the church in Smyrna is the “So …” section.