14 “To the angel (divine messenger) of the church in [a]Laodicea write:
“These are the words of the Amen, the trusted and faithful and true Witness, the [b]Beginning and Origin of God’s creation:
15 ‘I know your deeds, that you are [c]neither cold (invigorating, refreshing) nor hot (healing, therapeutic); I wish that you were [d]cold or hot.16 So because you are lukewarm (spiritually useless), and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of My mouth [rejecting you with disgust]. 17 Because you say, “I am rich, and have prospered and grown wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked [without hope and in great need],18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold that has been heated red hot and refined by fire so that you may become truly rich; and white clothes [representing righteousness] to clothe yourself so that the shame of your nakedness will not be seen; and healing salve to put on your eyes so that you may see.19 Those whom I [dearly and tenderly] love, I rebuke and discipline [showing them their faults and instructing them]; so be enthusiastic and repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, your sinful behavior—seek God’s will].20 Behold, I stand at the door [of the church] and continually knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him (restore him), and he with Me.21 He who overcomes [the world through believing that Jesus is the Son of God], I will grant to him [the privilege] to sit beside Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down beside My Father on His throne.22 He who has an ear, let him hear and heed what the Spirit says to the churches.’”
Revelation 3:14Laodicea, located beside the Lycus River, was a prosperous city about forty miles south of Philadelphia. It had a well-respected financial center, thriving textile production industry (specializing in black wool), and a leading medical school that produced a famous eye salve. Two other cities were in this general area: Colossae, known for its mountain spring of cold, fresh water; and Hierapolis, a site famous for its hot, therapeutic mineral springs.
Revelation 3:15This phrase and the word lukewarm in v 16 form a metaphor that is probably based on the quality of the water supply of Laodicea, which was delivered by aqueduct from the hot mineral springs about five miles away. During its journey, the water cooled to a warm or lukewarm temperature.
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