He Knows Your Deeds (Revelation 3:8)

Jesus is writing to the people in the local church in Philadelphia, and He says something very simple and yet very profound – Jesus always knows our deeds, and what we do. Here is the text, from my own translation:

  • 8I know your deeds. (Pay attention! I have put an opened door in front of you, and no one ever has [the] power to shut it.) I know you have a little strength, and yet you have obeyed my message and have not disowned my name.
rev38
The relevant portion of Revelation 3:8 from Codex Sinaiticus.

We can hide nothing from Him. He is omniscient and all-knowing. Jesus never takes in knowledge and learns new things. He is equal in power, glory, honor and attributes to the Father. He knows what you have done, are doing and will do.

There is nothing you can do that Jesus does not already know all about:

Proverbs 5:21 For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.

Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.

Job 34:21-22 For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings. There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.

Jesus’ remark gives the sense of, “I always know your deeds!”[1]

He knows the good and the bad. He knows our faithfulness and our deliberate failures. He knows whether your heart and spirit is hypocritical or tender. He knows your motivations and your motives. He knows what you’re planning and what your ambitions are.

Jesus’ remark will either (a) strike fear into the unregenerate, pretending heart, (b) convict and rebuke the lazy Christian who stopped trying a long time ago, and is just treading water on autopilot; or (c) comfort the weary sinner who is honestly trying to serve the Lord day by day.

Let everybody sit up and take notice of these simple truths:

  1. God created this universe and everything in it, and He did it through His unique, one and only Son, Jesus Christ; “by whom also he made the worlds,” (Hebrews 1:3)
  2. We are – each of us – products of this creation, and we owe our lives, our blessings, our comforts, the air we breathe and the blessings we enjoy to Him
  3. We are alienated from God and estranged from Him because of the wicked things we think about and do every day, which violate His holiness and His law
  4. Because God has great mercy, love, grace and kindness (cf. Ephesians 2:4-7), He provided a way for people to be reconciled, forgiven, adopted into His family and saved from Satan and ourselves

As you go about your day to day life, whether you are a non-Christian who thinks this is all ridiculous superstition, a “slacker” Christian who lives a life of pitiful hypocrisy, or a sincere Christian who tries day by day to be cleaving tighter unto the Lord (Acts 11:23), know this – the Risen and Resurrected Christ knows your deeds. “He is Lord of all,” (Acts 10:36), and the Father demands you apologize to Him and set things right by repenting of your sins and believing in His Son’s perfect work for your sake, in your place, as your substitute. As the Scripture reads,

Mark 1:14-15 After John was taken, Jesus came into Galilee preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God and saying: ‘The time is come and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe the gospel.’ (Tyndale 1534 translation)


[1] I take the word translated “I know” to be expressing a timeless truth. Here is my note on this from my own pitiful translation; Οἶδά: (1) Voice – a simple active voice. (2) Tense – context suggests a gnomic perfect, suggesting that Jesus has always known the church’s deeds. He never comes to know anything – He always knows all. (3) Mood – a declarative indicative.

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