The inhabitants of Laodicea were traders; Christ spoke to them in a manner that was familiar to them. He offered some things for them to buy. He did not mean that they could pay him for these precious things. Revelation 22:17 shows that people cannot pay Christ for these things. He offers things that are too valuable for anyone to buy with money. Christ himself paid the price for people to receive these things, by his death for them (5:9).
Although people cannot pay for these things, they must accept them. Only the person who receives Christ becomes a child of God (John 1:12). Only the person who believes in Christ receives life without end (John 3:16).
Although the Christians in Laodicea had plenty of money, Christ considered them poor. They were poor because their faith (trust in God) was weak (see James 2:5 and 1 Peter 1:7). Because their faith was weak, their relationship with God was weak. So Christ offered them something very precious, and perfectly pure. People put gold through fire to make it pure. That was the kind of gold that belonged in Godís house (compare Exodus 25:36-40 and Revelation 1:20). Christ was not offering actual gold, but faith and a right relationship with God, which are more precious than gold.
Laodiceaís traders sold plenty of black wool, but Christ considered them naked. Christ offered them white clothes, like the people in Sardis who had a right relationship with him. Again, he was not offering actual clothes. Instead, he offered to forgive their evil deeds (see Isaiah 1:18). Then, they would be ready to enter heaven (7:9). Revelation 7:14 reminds us that God forgives his people because of Christís death for them.
Laodiceaís doctors made medicine for the eyes, but Christ considered Laodiceaís people blind. They were unable to see (know) the truth about God. Christ offered to give them that knowledge (John 9:39). If they accepted, God would show them how to serve him properly. In other words, God would give them a right relationship with himself.
So, Christ offers three things, but they all have a similar meaning: a right relationship with God.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.