Laodicea Water Aqueduct
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Laodicea Water Aqueduct (Revelation 3.14-16)

"And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: 'These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler [or "origin" or "beginning"] 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 aqueduct was a large stone structure in the form of a bridge supported by tall columns and arches used for conveying water across a valley and sometimes in Roman times over long distances to provide water 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 to the south in Baspinar in the region of Korkuteli, in present day Turkey to the city of Laodicea on the Lycus River in the Roman province of Asia. Laodicea by the way was reportedly named after an Ottoman prince murdered by his brother. However, by the time the water had reached the city of Laodicea via the aqueduct it was neither healing nor refreshing and was therefore considered useless by the Romans who loved to bathe!

John the Survivor

Water FallsJohn, whose name means "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, is widely accepted as the writer 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 to live on the Greek island of Patmos and was the only one of Jesus Apostles to live a full life and die a natural death. He was so highly respected that he reputedly was sought after for advice by 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 warns the Laodiceans harshly in Revelation 3.16, "I am about to spit you out of my mouth."

Laodicean Black Wool

Black woolThe aqueduct carrying water to Laodicea also provided water for the city's woolen clothing manufacturers. The Laodicean 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 even of its church, their wealth eliminated even their need for God.

"Laodicea Water Aqueduct"
by Ron Meacock © 2017

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