Christ has spoken to Laodicea’s Christians as if they are not proper Christians. In verse 17, he described them as if they did not yet know him. In verse 18, he urged them to accept his kindness, like people who had never trusted him to save them.
There may have been some people at that church who were not really Christians yet. That is probably true in most churches; it is always important for church leaders to explain clearly to those people what Christ offers to them. However, many of the church members at Laodicea were genuine Christians, although their trust in Christ had become weak.
So, Christ explains why he spoke in such a strong manner to them. It is because he loves them very much. A father must sometimes deal strictly with his children; he does it because of his love for them (Hebrews 12:5-11).
Laodicea’s rich Christians had allowed their wealth to have a place that was too important in their lives. They seemed to trust their money even more than they trusted Christ. Their relationship with God was becoming weak. They needed very much to return to Christ. They needed to learn to trust him again.
Perhaps Laodicea’s Christians had thought that their attitudes were sensible. They were neither desperate for God’s help, nor eager to serve him. They were like something that is neither cold nor hot. Christ complained that something like that would make him sick (verse 16). He urged them to be hot, that is, to be eager. They should be eager, and they should change their attitudes towards him. Now they should trust him completely, and not their wealth.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.