Authentic – Revelation 2:1-7
One definition of authentic from Merriam-Webster is: Conforming to an original so as to reproduce essential features. This is a good definition as it relates to how we are called to be authentic in Revelation 2:1-7. This passage was originally written to the Church in Ephesus, but our church today has many of the same challenges that the Ephesians faced and it definitely applies to us. Jesus starts off telling the church the good things he has noticed them doing. One of those things is their investigations into those who claim to be apostles. The church is therefore authenticating those who claim to be apostles, and they find some of them to be false. In other ways the early church shows their authenticity by their ‘deeds, your hard work and your perseverance.’
On the other hand there is a way that they were not being authentic. Jesus describes it as having ‘forsaken your first love.’ Perhaps he is saying that they no longer were showing the original love they had for one another and Christ. If so, they were not being authentic by definition; they were not conforming to the original (Jesus) so as to reproduce (his) essential features (love).
Verse 7 of this passage is a challenge to the church to hear what the Spirit is telling us. Let us hear it now. May we not lose the good practices of the Ephesian church, and may we heed the words of Christ and not forsake ‘our first love.’ If it is the desire of our hearts to be authentic, let us pray to God that we will hear ‘what the Spirit says to the churches’ so that we can ‘eat from the tree of life.’