Church of Laodicea-Revelation 3:14-22

Revelation 3:14-22 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm — neither hot nor cold — I am about to spit you out of my mouth.17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. 21 To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Apocalisse 3:14-22 «All’angelo della chiesa di Laodicea scrivi: queste cose dice l’Amen, il testimone fedele e veritiero, il principio della creazione di Dio:15 “Io conosco le tue opere: tu non sei né freddo né fervente. Oh, fossi tu pur freddo o fervente! 16 Così, perché sei tiepido e non sei né freddo né fervente, io ti vomiterò dalla mia bocca. 17 Tu dici: ‘Sono ricco, mi sono arricchito e non ho bisogno di niente!’ Tu non sai, invece, che sei infelice fra tutti, miserabile, povero, cieco e nudo. 18 Perciò io ti consiglio di comprare da me dell’oro purificato dal fuoco per arricchirti, e delle vesti bianche per vestirti e perché non appaia la vergogna della tua nudità, e del collirio per ungerti gli occhi e vedere. 19 Tutti quelli che amo, io li riprendo e li correggo; sii dunque zelante e ravvediti. 20 Ecco, io sto alla porta e busso: se qualcuno ascolta la mia voce e apre la porta, io entrerò da lui e cenerò con lui ed egli con me. 21Chi vince lo farò sedere presso di me sul mio trono, come anch’io ho vinto e mi sono seduto con il Padre mio sul suo trono. 22 Chi ha orecchi ascolti ciò che lo Spirito dice alle chiese”».
 
     Prior to this writing (about 35 years earlier), the city of Laodicea was destroyed by an earthquake and rebuilt because of its great wealth. The wool industry and a regional medical school made Laodicea famous. The other letters to the churches started with a commendation but this begins with the introduction of Christ as the Amen, the faithful and true witness and ruler and immediately follows with a stern warning to the church summed up in one word: lukewarm! 
     The subtle meaning behind the word “lukewarm” came from the fact that the water to the Laodiceans was piped into the city from a distance and by the time the water arrived, it was always lukewarm. The evidence of their lukewarmness surfaced not only because of their great wealth but also their need for God was weak and tepid. Christ used strong words to describe their condition: wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 
     The solution was to repent and buy “refined” gold. This wealth would not come from the material riches of this world but purchased by the purifying eternal riches of Christ. The metaphorical reference to the salve for their eyes was understood clearly by the Laodiceans. They obtained great wealth from the selling of a salve for the eyes that was developed in their region. Christ admonished them to put on a spiritual salve so they could see their true poverty.
     Finally, the closing remark is a promise from their loving Christ as He appeals to them to hear the Word of the Lord and open the doors of their heart to an intimate relationship with Christ. What is your temperature today?
Pray with me: Lord, I see this church represented so frequently in my world today. Help me to understand the message clearly as I evaluate my degree of commitment to You.


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