“I know your works and tribulation and poverty (but you are rich). And I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.” — Revelation 2:9 MEV
I like that Jesus acknowledges the tribulation and physical poverty of the saints, but at the same time reminds them they are rich — in him, they are rich. Jesus is the only needful thing; his love makes us outlandishly rich in every way that matters.
And perhaps we can apply the same concept to what he says about the people who feel like they are Jews but in fact or a synagogue of Satan. In their minds they are God’s chosen people: they are keeping the law; they have the prophets. But in every way that matters, they are cut off from God because they rejected Jesus and the one needful thing in this world.
Jesus is pointing out the sad state of anyone who feels like they are in connection with him and in fact are severed from him. And this doesn’t mean just Jews or people of other religions, in my experience.
Because I feel like that was me before I came into intimate connection with Christ and began to receive his love. Practically all my life I grew up a Christian, and I would have been like these people who claim “I am in Christ” — of course they were claiming “we are Jews” —but in fact I didn’t know God.
What I had to say about him was rudimentary Sunday school stuff — and in some cases, I am sure it was blasphemous to him … about his wrath and hell and what was and wasn’t sin, etc. I was parroting back what I had been told by my authorities on the Bible. But it was only their interpretation.
When I began to come into intimate connection with Christ, all I felt from him was love, love, love. No condemnation — not even any bother about what is sin and what is not, or who is going to heaven and who is going to hell.
Today I think that any dialogue about him that tells people he is anything but their loving father is blasphemous and idolatrous.
So I think this may be what Jesus is saying here to these people. He understands the Jews who are claiming to be his people, but they don’t really know him. He wants his persecuted people to understand that he gets what they’re going through. And of course, he gets what we’re going through today.