Laodicea Water Aqueduct
Next Previous Index Tellout Home

Laodicea Water Aqueduct
(Revelation 3.14-16)
Page 85

"And 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: 'I know your deeds; you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm - neither cold nor hot - I am about to spit you out of my mouth.'" (Revelation 3.14-16)✞

Know Your Deeds

Laodicean stone carvingAn water aqueduct like that at Laodicea was a large stone engineering structure built to transport water sometimes over large distances. The ancient Romans loved to bathe and so good water was seen as an essential element in their social wellbeing. In many of the squares in Rome today, you can see fountains where the bath houses for bathing and for brothels used to be. Often a water viaduct, from the Latin "via" for road and "ducere" to lead, spanned a valley and this was constructed in the form of a bridge (a viaduct) supported by tall brick columns and arches. In Roman times, aqueducts traveled over long distances to provide a water supply to outlying communities. Some aqueducts still remain today such was the excellence of Roman engineering two thousand and more years ago.✞

Six Mile Aqueduct

Laodicea AqueductAt one time, a six-mile long aqueduct brought water from the hot mineral springs in Baspinar in Korkuteli, in present day Turkey to the city of Laodicea on the Lycus River in the Roman province of Asia. Laodicea was reportedly named after an Ottoman prince murdered by his brother. By the time the water reached the city of Laodicea via the aqueduct it was neither hot enough for a healing bath nor refreshingly cold to drink and was therefore considered useless by the Romans!

John the Survivor

Water FallsJohn of Patmos, whose name meant "God has been gracious", repeated for us Jesus' words in Revelation, "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot." John of Patmos, was widely accepted by Early Church writers as the author of the Book of Revelation. He was banished to the island of Patmos after being plunged into a vat of boiling oil and miraculously surviving. To this day, icons bearing his image show a scar from scalding down the side of his head. He reputedly was exiled on the Greek island of Patmos and was the only one of Jesus' Apostles to have lived a full life and died a natural death. He was so highly respected in his day that he was sought after for advice by the leaders, princes and officials who visited him. The point of Jesus' statement to the church at Laodicea was that their spirituality had faded and was as lukewarm as the tepid water that flowed into the city. Therefore, Jesus harshly warned the Laodiceans as he does us today in Revelation 3.16, "I am about to spit you out of my mouth."

Laodicean Black Wool

Black woolThe Laodicea water aqueduct also provided water for the city's woolen clothing manufacturers. The sheep's soft, violet-black, glossy wool was manufactured into outer garments and was highly prized in those days. It made its producers very rich. The words of the risen Christ spoke directly against this reliance on prosperity. In the minds of its citizens, and of its church, their wealth eliminated even their need for God.

"Laodicea Water Aqueduct"
by Ron Meacock © 2018

^Top Page Next Previous