What an encouraging letter! The letter to the church of Philadelphia is packed with encouragement – not a negative word in it! Fitting, since Philadelphia means the city of ‘brotherly (adelphos) love (philia).’
But not all was well at the church. They were being ‘hassled’ by the zealous temple leaders to the point of mistreatment. The leaders believed they were the ones who held the ‘keys to the Kingdom.’ Jesus encourages them to hang in there! And assures them that he is the one who holds the ‘keys of David.’ And ‘what he has opened – no one can shut!’
For a city that is prone to earthquakes where people are scared to live within the city walls, much less city dwellings for fear of an earthquake, Jesus assures them of security, stability and permanence in the City of God.
Jesus also promises that three things will be written on them and their clothes in the new Kingdom – a new name, the name of God’s city, and the name of Jesus. Can’t wait for this day to come – it will be my first tattoo!!!
Seriously, we will go deeper into the text and context and look for God to open up our hearts and minds to his word for us. Peace! A literal good word is coming to us on Sunday from Philadelphia!