Laodicea was a wealthy city, about 100 miles (160 kilometres) east of Ephesus. It was important for trade. Paul wrote the Book of Colossians to the church at Colossae, which was near Laodicea. At the same time, he wrote a letter, which does not still exist, to the church at Laodicea (Colossians 4:16).
As in each letter, Christ begins with a description of himself. He is the Amen. AMEN is a word in the language called Hebrew; it means ‘the truth’. We say ‘Amen’ at the end of a prayer to express agreement with the prayer; we are saying, ‘it is true.’
Christ is called the faithful and true witness. He is the true witness because he has spoken the truth about God (John 1:18; 1 John 5:20). The word ‘faithful’ means that we can trust his words.
Christ is also called the origin of all that God created. God did not create Christ. God, the Father, Son and Spirit, has always existed. God the Father acted with the Son and the Holy Spirit to create all things (John 1:1-3; Genesis 1:1-2).
Many Bible teachers believe that the letter to Laodicea contains several references to local matters. That may in fact be true about each of the letters, but it may not be especially important.
For example, doctors at Laodicea did make a medicine for the eyes. However, we would still understand verse 18 if we did not know that fact. Similarly, the trade in wool was important at Laodicea; but people everywhere know the importance of clothes (verses 17-18). There was a supply of water near Laodicea that made people sick. Verse 16 may refer to it; but, of course, it could refer to anything else that has that effect.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.