Revelation 2:17 is an encouragement. To him who overcomes, I (Jesus Christ) I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name on it, known only to him who receives it.
I believe people long to be sympathetically understood. I do. A frequent attitude is, “No one understands me.”
We hope people will enter into our world as fully as possible. Most do not. Ninety-nine percent do not. Even if people genuinely try (which is rare), they have different gifts and experiences which shape how they react to someone’s transparent honesty.
To qualify for this hidden manna and white stone, known only by the Giver and the recipient, one must “overcome.” The context is overcoming the false teachings of Balaam and the Nicolaitans. If we do overcome, we may get our long-hoped-for understanding.
How satisfying it would be for someone – just any one – just one person in all your life – to want to understand you and enter into your hardship and stress with some insight and genuine empathy.
So what is this hidden manna and white stone? First, whatever this manna is, it will be highly nourishing – assuming it is like the food that sustained Israel through 40 years of wilderness wandering.1 It is said to be hidden. We are all drawn to what is hidden. Hidden treasure. Hidden meaning. Hidden secrets. This manna is hidden. By definition, most don’t / can’t know about this.
Second, the text says the name on the stone is known only to the Lord Jesus Christ and the recipient.
Is the name on the stone a nick name of affection, something like a husband has for his wife (Babe, Sweet Heart are two of my nicknames for my wife, Marilyn)?
Will your nickname include something that describes you (Brainiack Bob; Diligent Dawn?). Does it include a quality that the Lord Jesus appreciates about you? Or captures some event in your life that was a landmark for you (9/11; Isaiah noted that his vision was “. . . in the year that King Uzziah died” 6:1)? Does this name challenge the recipient toward some Christian virtue?
Clearly, it is personal, it is just for you, and it shows personal attention lavished on you by the God-Man. I like to believe that this signals an intimacy, an attention, a focus on you as you’ve never experienced before. Hopefully, someday we will be fully understood and we can have a private conversation with Him, during which He will explain our lives to us.
- Manna designed and created by God for the Israelites had to contain all the vitamins nutrients, proteins, carbohydrates and fats needed to keep bodies healthy for a long time. The manna of Revelation 2:17 will also be nourishing.