Reflections on Revelation #69

Day 69

“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:…” Rev 3:14 NASB.

The message to the church at Laodicea connects strongly with the history and the environment of the city. The city was infamous for its wretched water supply. It was lukewarm in temperature and filled with sediment and lime. It was too cold for bathing and too warm to be refreshing on a hot, summer day. Jeremiah had used rotten food to illustrate the disgust God felt for the behaviour of the people (Jer.24:1-10). In this text, Jesus offers an image appropriate to the situation of Laodicea.

Known for its self-sufficiency. It was a wealthy banking centre in the time of Emperor Domitian. The city was also famous for its textiles, particularly cloth and carpets woven from black wool, a startling contrast to Jesus’ offer of white garments. The city was also home to a first-century medical school that specialized in ear and eye ointments.

So Laodicea the city, like the church it housed, was a self-sufficient place that did not feel its need of outside support, even though its water system came from outside and was not palatable. Jesus used the history and environment of Laodicea as an illustration of the shortcomings of the local church.

Why does God see one thing and the people of Laodicea another? The reason lies in the fact that God and Laodicea are really looking at two different things. Laodicea gazes upon material things.

She tends to observe her achievements, which are not inconsiderable. She thinks of her missionaries at the end of the earth. She recalls the hospitals and dispensaries which her wealth has erected and which her generosity maintains. She surveys the schools and colleges in which she purposes to lead her young people in the way that is right. She counts her printing presses and publishing houses, established to enlighten the world. She remembers her stately houses of worship, erected in many cities of many lands. She counts her membership, and analyses her offerings.

It is a splendid showing. Laodicea is complacently happy. She has a flawless doctrine, a competent organization, a triumphant message. Who can deny these things?

1 Comment
  • LYNNE Picton
    Posted at 18:56h, 12 March Reply

    Happy Sabbath. AMEN

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