Friday 05 September 2014

Bible Book:

“Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you and you with me.” (v. 20)

Revelation 3:14-22 Friday 5 September 2014


Christ's particular message to the church at Laodicea reflectsthe city itself - famed for its banks, its linen trade, and itsmedicines, particularly an eye-ointment made from a locally sourcedpowder. Read the passage with these things in mind and see how Johnuses these dimensions of city life to make his spiritualpoints.

Unlike most of this collection of letters in Revelation chapters 2 and 3, Christ has nothingby way of commendation for Laodicea, and yet his love for themshines through. The criticism of the church mentions no specificevil-doing; their problem is one of indifference to the gospel.They are lukewarm, lacking enthusiasm or conviction for the gospelthey claim to believe. The statement that Jesus would prefer them"cold" to tepid in verse 15, is particularly thought-provoking.

At nearby Hierapolis was a hot water spring which was lukewarmby the time its water flowed over a cliff near Laodicea, leaving avivid white lime encrustation. The lukewarm water made people sick,and that is how Christ claims to feel about the church here. But heclaims to 'rebuke and discipline' (verse 19) the ones he loves(compare Proverbs 3:12) and verses 18-21 are compellingwords of love and promise.

For "open the door" compare the parable of Jesus in Luke12:36. Eating with people was important for Jesus in theGospels in affirming his welcome, and the Lord's Supper enshrinesthe promise that Jesus will drink with his faithful disciples inhis Father's kingdom (Matthew 26:29). The further idea here ofsharing his throne is also found elsewhere in the New Testament (Ephesians 2:6).

To Ponder

  • All these mini-letters in Revelation are actually addressed tothe angel of the particular church, presumably a guardian angel. Doyou believe people and churches have such angels, and if so what istheir role?
  • This little letter has probably been read more often inchurches in recent years than any of the six that precede it. Wouldyou agree or disagree that being lukewarm is a major problem forlocal churches today? What leads you to your answer?
  • Read verse 18 again, where Christ's offer is shapedby the business life of Laodicea. How do you think Christ mightencourage the indifferent using language drawn from the business orother special interests of your own town or community?
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