Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Notes on the Letter to the Church in Laodicea (Rev 3:14-22)

[These are some of the notes used this morning in my Sunday school class at Kosmosdale Baptist Church.]

Chapter Ten: Letter to the Church in Laodicea (Rev 3:14-22)

14 And write to the angel of the church in Laodicea:
The Amen, the faithful and true witness, the originator[91] of the creation of God, says these things:
15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. It would be fitting if you were cold or hot! 16 Consequently, because you are tepid– neither hot nor cold– I am about to vomit you out from my mouth. 17 Because you say,[92] “I am wealthy,” and, “I have become rich,” and, “I need nothing,” and you don’t know that you are wretched,[93] pathetic, destitute, blind, and naked. 18 I am counseling you to buy from me: gold refined by fire, that you may be rich; white clothes, that you may clothe yourself so the shame of your nakedness might not be exposed; and eye salve, in order to anoint your eyes so that you may see. 19 I lecture and I discipline whosoever I love; therefore, become zealous and repent. 20 Look! I have been standing at the door and I am knocking, if anyone shall hear my voice and shall open the door, I will come in to him, and I will dine with him and he with me. 21 The victor:[94] I will give to him to sit with me upon my throne, as I too conquered and sat with my Father upon his throne. 22 Let he who has an ear hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
Introduction of the Author

hJ ajrch; th:V ktivsewV tou: qeou: ( archē tēs ktiseōs tou theou) “the originator of the creation of God” as a title for Christ bears striking similarity with what was proclaimed of Christ in Colossians 1:15-20.

Laodicea was destroyed in a terrible earthquake in A.D. 62, but refused Roman aid for rebuilding because the city was wealthy enough to rebuild itself and its citizens desired independence. Laodicea had three major sources of wealth: 1. Banking (similar to modern Swiss banks); there was a grand bank, which had walls lined with gold, and which was protected by an inner wall within the city; 2. Linen (fine clothing products); 3. Salve (the manufacture of medicinal products, such as eye and ear salve, made from zinc oxide that naturally occurred in the area). Laodicea had a problem with drinking water, which flowed into town from hot springs in the hills and was lukewarm by the time it reached town. Alternatively, water could be brought from Colossae in barrels, but it was likewise lukewarm when it reached town.[95]
Condemnation of the Laodiceans’ Tepidity and Pride

The most probable origin of the imagery for “neither cold nor hot” is mentioned in the historical note above. Cold or hot water is useful: for refreshment if cold or boiling food, etc., if hot. Lukewarm water is useless (cf. Matt 5:13).
ejmevsai (emesai) “vomit” is used as a figure of speech meaning “utterly reject.” “In Lev 18:25, 28: 20:22, the expression ‘to vomit’ out of the land is used of the fate of the Canaanites upon entry into Palestine, and the potential fate of the Israelites themselves.”[96]
Admonition and Encouragement to the Laodiceans

iJmavtia leuka (himatia leuka) “white clothes” is used because “white” symbolizes righteousness in Revelation; here the “white clothes” are likely also used as a contrast to the elegant black garments produced in Laodicea.

ejlevgcw (elenchō) “lecture” refers to “a verbal rebuke designed to bring a person to acknowledge his fault;” paideuvw (paideuō) “discipline” accomplishes the same goal by means of an action.[97]

eijseleuvsomai pro;s aujto;n kai; deipnhvsw metj aujtou: kai; aujto;V metj emou: (eiseleusomai pros auton kai deipnēsō met autou kai autos met emou) “I will come in to him, and I will dine with him and he with me” is “an invitation not for the readers to be converted, but to renew themselves in a relationship that has already begun, as is apparent from v. 19.”[98]


[91]arch is, in this context, translated as “originator,” rather than the traditional “beginning,” per the suggestions of Aune (246), MacArthur (1967), and Thomas (303).
[92]The second o in this verse is left untranslated, because it is used to mark a quote– something that is accomplished in English through puntuation.
[93]As previously mentioned, several occurrences of the word kai are left untranslated because where Greek tends to separate all items in a list with a kai, English normally uses commas.
[94]ov nikwn is understood as a nominative absolute (Beale, 310).
[95]Daniel E. Hatfield, “Revelation 3:14-22” (classroom lecture notes, 22440–Greek Syntax and Exegesis, Spring 2007).
[96]Aune, 258.
[97]Thomas, 319. See Prov 3:12.
[98]Beale, 308.

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