The Way It Happened

Revelation 3:17-18, The Letter to Laodicea

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 salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

//These words were spoken by Jesus (as attested by John of Patmos) to the city of Laodicea. Go get some white clothes and working eye salve.

It’s fascinating to study the seven letters in Revelation, and how they fit within the historical setting of the times. Consider this example, the instruction given to Laodicea, a city grown rich through trade, located handily on a popular trade route. They had apparently become quite independent.

One of the items offered by Laodicea was a popular Phrygian eye powder. The town boasted a medical practice which lured people from far and wide. In particular, Laodicea specialized in ophthalmology, the healing of the eyes.

Another thing they were known for was a unique breed of black sheep whose wool was especially fine. This seems to have sparked a local fashion.

So what does Jesus say? Get off your high horse, you ain’t rich at all. Find some real eye salve so you can see what miserable creatures you are, and dress yourselves in white wool … not black.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>