Jezebel of Thyatira - A Woman of the Bible
Thyatira was a small city in Asia Minor. It was in an area noted for its abundant crops and the manufacture of purple dye. You may remember that Lydia, spoken of in the book of Acts, was from Thyatira and was a seller of purple cloth. The small church in Thyatira was singled out for rebuke in the revelation given to John.The Son of God is fierce in Revelation. He stood there with blazing eyes and feet like burnished bronze as He leveled a stern rebuke at many of the members of the church of Thyatira. Even though the church had shown increasing signs of living the Christian life and they were known for their love, faith, service and perseverance, Jesus held something against them and this was a serious matter. The members tolerated a woman in their church who was corrupting other believers. This woman was called Jezebel and bore a striking resemblance in character to Ahab's wife.
This New Testament Jezebel was a prominent member of the church in Thyatira. She was a self-proclaimed prophetess and was looked up to by members of the church, but her teaching was evil. She promoted the pagan practices of sexual immorality and eating food that was sacrificed to idols. These practices, although acceptable to that local society, were repugnant to Jesus. The sinful behavior had been going on for some time and He had given Jezebel time to repent but she was unwilling. Jesus warned the believers of the church of Thyatira that judgment was coming. Jezebel would receive swift judgment and unless they repented, all those who joined her in the sin would suffer intensely as well.
Do the problems in the church at Thyatira have relevance today? We no longer worry about food sacrificed to idols but are there other sins that are tolerated and even thought of as minor problems? Are there Christian leaders who are active in good works and church service but also teach false doctrine or tolerate immoral behavior? Are there believers that tolerate sin in the church because other more prominent members tolerate it?
As believers we are all expected to study the Bible and to know and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. Lack of biblical knowledge will not serve as an excuse on that last day when we meet our Creator face to face. We are not to depend on someone else for all of our Bible knowledge. Following false teachings and falling blindly into sin is not acceptable. If what is being taught in our church is not biblical, we must speak up and distance ourselves from it.
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