22 Nov. Revelation 3:14-22

22 Nov. Jesus's message to the 'lukewarm' church at Laodicea

"Write this to the angel of the church in Laodicea:"

"The Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning [the source] of all God has made, says this:
I [Jesus] know what you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were either hot or cold!
But because you are warm - neither hot nor cold - I am ready to spit you out of my mouth."

"You say, 'I am rich, and I have become wealthy and do not need anything.' But you do not know that you are really miserable, pitiful, poor, blind and naked."

"I advise you to buy from me gold made pure in fire so you can be truly rich. Buy from me white clothes so you can be clothed and so you can cover your shameful nakedness. Buy from me medicine to put on your eyes so you can truly see."

"I correct and punish those whom I love. So be eager to do right, and change your hearts and lives. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and eat with you, and you will eat with me."

"Those who win the victory will sit with me on my throne in the same way that I won the victory and sat down with my Father on his throne."

"Everyone who has ears should listen to what the [Holy] Spirit says to the churches."

          (Revelation 3:14-22)

 

 

The churches in Laodicea and at nearby Hierapolis were established by Epaphras (see Colossians 4:12-13) during Paul’s three year stay at Ephesus in 53-56AD (see Acts 19:10).

John says the believers at Laodicea are only ‘lukewarm’ in their enthusiasm for the gospel. They need ‘ointment for their eyes’, as their wealth and materialism have blinded them to the need for a living faith.

In John’s day, the Roman baths at Laodicea received geothermally heated water from the hot springs at nearby Hierapolis. The water travelled about 3 miles / 5 km between the two cities, crossing the valley on a stone aqueduct before reaching Laodicea, by which time it was only 'lukewarm'. John says the believers at Laodicea, like the water, are also ‘lukewarm’, having lost their initial enthusiasm for the gospel.

They also need ‘ointment’ to help them see the truth – a subtle reference to the eye salve prepared in Laodicea from local stone and called ‘Phrygian powder’ by Aristotle.

Modern-day visitors to the archaeological site at Laodicea can walk through the remains of the eastern Byzantine Gate and can explore ruined temples and public buildings along Syria Street – the main east-west stone-paved road running through the centre of Laodicea. Carved stone crosses can be found alongside pagan symbols in the ruins of the buildings.

The photo shows remains of the aqueduct that brought warm water from the hot springs at Hierapolis to Laodicea.

You can read more about Laodicea and Hierapolis @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/the-messages-to-the-beli…/


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