Ephesus: Lost Love

David Bast

Read: Revelation 2:2-6; Luke 7:36-50

But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. (Rev. 2:4)

In Fiddler on the Roof, Tevye, beset by the uncertainties swirling around his life and family, asks his wife, “Do you love me?” Golde replies, “Do I what? Look what I’ve been doing for you the past 25 years!” Love is best measured not by words but by actions. The measure of God’s love for us is his gift of Jesus (John 3:16), and Jesus’ death for us is its ultimate demonstration (Rom. 5:8).

But why is our love for Jesus so important? Luke 7 shows the reason. Because Jesus had forgiven her many sins, the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and dried them with her hair felt such overwhelming love for him that she had to demonstrate it somehow, even if that meant embarrassing herself in public. The Ephesians were more like Simon the Pharisee—respectable, doctrinally correct, but cold. Love for Jesus is the measure of our gratitude.

Jesus was a realist. He knew that as time goes on, “the love of many will grow cold” (Matt. 24:12). Often that’s because the Christian life is hard, and people drift away. But sometimes love grows cold because Christians get too caught up in church business. The Ephesian church was orthodox, it rejected heresies, it abhorred sinful behavior (Rev. 2:6). But it had forgotten what grace feels like. It had slipped away from where it all begins—the love of Jesus; his merciful love for us, and our grateful love for him. —David Bast

As you pray, ask for your love to be rekindled.