I know [about] your suffering and your poverty (but you are [really] rich), and the slander of those who say they are Jews, though they [really] are not, but are a synagogue of Satan [i.e., they claimed to be an assembly of God's people, but in reality were serving Satan].
Look at those who belong to the synagogue of Satan [See 2:9]; they claim to be Jews, yet they are not, but are lying. Watch, I will make them come and bow down at your feet [in respect] and [they will] know that I have loved you.
sad and yet always joyous; poor and yet making many people [spiritually] rich; destitute and yet possessing everything.
For you know the unearned favor of our Lord Jesus Christ, [how] that even though He was rich, He became poor for your sakes, so that through His poverty you people could become [spiritually] rich.
Listen, my dearly loved brothers; did not God choose those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be wealthy in faith and to inherit the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?
Then He looked at His disciples and said, "Those of you who have a [sense of personal] need are blessed, because the kingdom of God belongs to you.
For that person is not a Jew who is one [merely] on the outside. And circumcision is not [merely] an outward physical ordinance.
[Urge them] to do what is good, to be rich in [the practice of] good deeds, to be generous and willing to share [with others].
For you are saying, 'I am wealthy; I have made plenty of money and do not need anything.' But you do not know that you are [spiritually] wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.
Then Jesus replied to him, "Get away from me Satan, for it is written [Deut. 6:13], 'You are supposed to worship the Lord your God, and serve only Him.'"
"The Holy Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He anointed me [i.e., specially chose me] to preach good news to poor people. He has sent me to proclaim freedom to those who are captives [i.e., to sin]; recovery of sight to the [spiritually as well as physically] blind; to set free those who are oppressed [i.e., by Satan] and
This is [the way it will be with] the person who stores up treasures for himself, and [yet] is not rich toward God [i.e., does place enough importance on spiritual things]."
I have said these things to you so that you can have peace in [fellowship with] me. You will have trouble in the world, but cheer up, for I have conquered the world."
[Along the way] they strengthened the hearts of the disciples, urging them to continue [to believe and practice] the faith and [explaining] that entering God's [heavenly] kingdom [See II Tim. 4:18] requires enduring many trials.
I often persecuted them in the synagogues, [even] trying to get them to blaspheme [i.e., speak against God]. I had extreme anger toward them and [even] traveled to foreign cities [in my effort] to persecute them.
But if you call yourselves "Jews," and [claim to] rely on the law of Moses, and brag about [belonging to] God;
And not only this, but we also rejoice in our troubles, knowing that [experiencing] troubles produces endurance;
Who [i.e., what] can separate us from Christ's love [for us]? [i.e., what unfortunate circumstance of life might suggest that Christ does not love us?] Would [it be] trouble? Or distress? Or persecution? Or inadequate food? Or inadequate clothing? Or danger? Or [even] death?
But it is not as if the word of God [i.e., His promise to Israel] has failed [in its fulfillment]. For not all those descended from the Israelites are [truly] Israelites [i.e., God's people].
Be joyful as you hope [i.e., for future blessings]. Persevere in spite of the troubles you experience. Continue steadfastly in prayer.
[It is] how, in spite of their suffering severe trials, their overflowing joy and extreme poverty produced an overwhelming expression of generosity.
For even when we were with you, we warned you that we were going to be persecuted, and as you know, it has turned out that way.
For it is a just thing for God to repay with affliction those people who are troubling you,
[even] though I had previously spoken against Christ, and persecuted [Christians] and acted outrageously. However, I obtained mercy because I acted out of ignorance, not believing [in Christ].
I know about your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. [I know] that you cannot tolerate wicked men and that you have tested those who call themselves apostles, but really are not, and found them to be liars.
And I answered him, "Sir, [surely] you know." And he said to me, "These are the people who have come through the terrible persecution, and they have washed their robes and made them white with the blood of the Lamb.