Rich Laodicea City
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Rich Laodicea City
(Revelation 3.17-18)
Page 86

"You say, 'I am rich, I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich, and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness, and ointment to put on your eyes, so you can see." (Revelation 3.17-18)✞

Wretched Pitiful Poor

Laodicea ViewLaodicea City was built on the river Lycus and benefitted from its position on an important trade route. The city and the church were described as affluent and "wealthy." They were also free of persecution like Sardis. But what the Laodiceans could buy had become more valuable to them than what was unseen and eternal, their spiritual assets. They said, "I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing" but Jesus responded to them in this Revelation passage, "but you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked?" This offended the Laodiceans who boasted of their wealth, their thriving healing eye ointment treatments and their rich clothing.✞

Acquired Wealth

Gold CoinsLaodicea was also known for its "gold" coins which it was permitted by the Romans to produce like some other major cities. However, Christ told the Laodiceans to get their spiritual treasures from him. Gold refined in fire was a reference to God's grace. The process of refining gold involved mining the ore, breaking it into small parts and heating it intensely until the dross separate off from the real gold. Laodicea was going to receive the same harsh treatment at the hand of God until only the pure gold was left. The city was so proud of its cloth and dyeing industries, but Christ told them to purchase white, pure, spotless, pristine clothes from him, symbolic of his righteousness. The Laodicean black sheep produced beautiful black woolen fabric but only the clean white clothing of the pure in heart would satisfy God. The Laodiceans were to exchange the glossy black wool for the fine white linen clothes of the pure in heart.✞

"Rich Laodicea City"
by Ron Meacock © 2018

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