“I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works“
I will kill her children with death,
The “children” here are not Jezebel’s physical children but her spiritual children – those who join guilds that worship idols. These guilds entered cultic prostitution as part of their worship. God will inflict death upon her disciples.
and all the churches shall know
“All” churches, not just the church at Thyatira, will know that Jesus is the judge of peoples motives and actions.
that I am He who searches the minds and hearts
The word “I” is very emphatic. Jesus will personally search the hearts of the people at Thyatira. The word “searches” expresses an accurate tracking down of who the person is.
The word “minds” literally means kidney. The ancients viewed feelings and emotions as abiding in the kidneys. Jesus searches emotions. Emotions are not the primary means of spirituality except as manifestations of the spirituality that is already there. Great spiritual blessing cannot help but flow into the soul. However, that emotion is not spirituality per se.
Jesus searches the indicator of our spirituality. We cannot make emotions the criteria of our spirituality, but we can use them to understand our spirituality. The objective standards of the Bible are the true criteria for spirituality. How we feel has little to do with it.
Our “heart” is the source of our decisions. Jesus examines our emotions and the basis for our decisions. He will hold us all responsible for our choices. We can blame no one else.
And I will give to each one of you according to your works
The “works” here involve more than overt acts; they include what has been going on in the “minds and hearts” of the previous phrase. Jesus uses objective standards for dealing with us. These standards encompass our true motives and acts.
Jesus will examine our motives by searching our emotions and the basis for our decision-making.
Most of us have dull spiritual perception. Jesus has complete clarity and fairness in His understanding of our motives and actions. It is incumbent upon us to make our motives clear to ourselves, for Jesus will make them clear if we do not.