What Burdens Does Jesus Place On Us?

Revelation 2:24

Thyatira is considered one of the bad churches in the Bible. You may recall they had allowed a woman called Jezebel to preach and she led some of the believers astray. So Jesus sent them a letter where he basically says, “I’m going to deal with this.” He ends his letter with this:

 I place no other burden on you. (Rev. 2:24b)

What burdens does Jesus place on us?

Only himself.

The image of Jesus burdening us seems at odds with his promise of a light and easy yoke (Matt. 11:30). But look carefully at what Jesus asks the Thyatirans to do in regards to Jezebel’s deception and you will find… nothing.

Which is astonishing given the mess she’s made.

The letter to Thyatira is sometimes held up as a dissertation on church discipline. This is ironic given the total lack of instruction the Lord provides for fixing their problem.

The saints are not told to deliver the woman to Satan for the destruction of her flesh. Nor are they told to shame or shun those who followed her.

Jesus is not happy about the Jezebel situation, but everything that needs to be done, he himself will do. “I will throw… I will kill…” What is there for the Thyatirans to do but watch as Jesus delivers them from the burden of Jezebel?

The Thyatiran church made a mistake in letting this woman teach, and Christ’s response is, “I got this.” What a stunning picture of Jesus our Deliverer. He does not condemn the saints or threaten them with punishment. He simply promises to fix their mistake.

What a contrast with Adam, the first man.

First Adam failed to keep his garden and, as a result, a serpent got in, deceived his wife, and everybody died. What did Adam do? He ran away from the problem then blamed God and Eve for everything that happened.

Jesus does a far better job protecting his bride. When a serpent came into the Thyatiran garden he did not blame the church for being inattentive. He simply strapped on his bronze snake-stomping boots and dealt with the problem.

I imagine when Jesus’ letter was read out in Thyatira, many breathed a sigh of relief. They knew Jezebel was trouble, but they didn’t know what to do with her. She was divisive and had been warned, but the church couldn’t handle her. It was a horrible situation. Then came good news from Jesus. “Don’t worry. I got this. You don’t have to do anything about Jezebel. There’s only one thing I want you to do…”

Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come. (Rev. 2:25)

That’s always the message: Hold fast to Jesus, because in him we have everything we need—love, forgiveness, acceptance, holiness, righteousness. In him we have every blessing, every promise, and everything we need for newness of life. We have the mind of Christ, the Spirit of Christ, the faith of Christ. In Christ, we have it all.

“Hold onto that,” says Jesus. “Hold onto me.”

The Thyatirans have an undeserved reputation as one of the bad churches of Revelation. “They lacked morals and doctrinal purity,” said virtually every commentator I read. Yet Jesus says nothing about their lack. Instead, he reminds them of what they possess. “You already have everything they need. Hold on to it.”

Those who say the Thyatirans were broken offer long lists of things they could do to fix themselves. Yet Jesus asked the saints to do one thing and only one thing: “Hold fast to me.” It is the only imperative in this letter.

Christians drift off course when they lose sight of who they are and what they have. Some, like the Galatians, drift into legalism. Others, like the Thyatirans, drift into licentiousness. The remedy in either case is to lay hold of what we have in Christ Jesus. Good preachers, like Jesus and the New Testament writers, are often reminding the saints of what they already have.

Imagine getting a letter from Jesus that said, “You guys are doing great. Keep doing that. There is one problem in your group, but I’ll take care of it. Just keep doing what you’re doing.” That’s basically what Jesus said to the Thyatirans.

Like this? You’ll love Letters from Jesus!

Paul’s latest 20-page study note, “How to store up heavenly treasure,” is available now on Patreon!

11 Comments on What Burdens Does Jesus Place On Us?

  1. Awesome! This is His message to us, “abide in Me”.

  2. hanni2hotmailcom // April 15, 2021 at 12:48 am // Reply

    “Jesus says nothing about their lack. Instead, he reminds them of what they possess.”
    This is what I have been finally understanding for the past five years. I’ve never had more growth and unintentional holiness in all my life! Isn’t his empowering grace incredible!!

  3. Carolyn Hawkey // April 15, 2021 at 2:07 am // Reply

    LOVE your article and the way you explain about GRACE!!! You write, “The saints are not told to deliver the woman to Satan for the destruction of her flesh”…I have always wondered what that means and I have never heard an explanation for what this truly means. Would you mind explaining it? What does it mean to turn over someone to Satan for the destruction of the flesh???

  4. Lisamarie Brand // April 15, 2021 at 2:46 am // Reply

    Oh, how I love this post! “Jesus’ snake stompin” boots”! These words are more energizing than my coffee this morning. The reminder that we have everything we need for life and godliness can’t be repeated enough!!! Thank you, thank you!!!

  5. “bronze snake-stomping boots” 😂 I love that so much. Thank you for this. And for all your encouragement and the work you put in to this blog. I am so grateful for you.

  6. This is a wonderful demonstration of God’s grace I would have missed on my own! But I am in a situation where church leaders have been forbearing with a divisive group of women for 8 years. Doesn’t there come a time when church elders have to protect the congregation by confronting divisive behaviors, even resorting to firm but loving discipline when gentle warnings are not heeded? People are hurt when bullies are allowed to persist. Churches are torn to pieces. This is what I see happening at mine.

    • Yes, definitely. In the case of Thyatira, Jesus acted because the leaders didn’t. They said nothing while this women led some into sexual immorality and idolatry. But God redeems bad situations. If the shepherds had done their job – and I’m not blaming them; maybe they were out of their depth – we would not have this encouraging letter in the Bible.

  7. So, to learn how to rest in the midst of troubles, Learn to not be ib control. Got it, God has Got our stuff smothered and covered in himself

    Seeing Romans 2:1-4, reminds me whom am I to Judge anyone, when God’s grace is not only for me, but for all the worlds. Not knowing how, Just trusting somehow, God will see us each through, to see truth in beleif or not in unbelief, yet all will know the truth, leaves only one thing, to believe or not believe consciousaly. Thanks

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