Summary: Church at Laodecia. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reading: Revelation chapter 3 verses 14-22.
• Nobody likes being sick;
• I nobody really enjoys having to go to the doctors.
• David Grimes in Reader’s Digest:
• Doctors - What They Say and What They Actually Mean
• What they say: “It could be one of several things.”
• What they mean: “I haven’t the foggiest idea what’s wrong with you.”
• What they say: “Are you sure you haven’t had this before?”
• What they mean: “Because you’ve got it again.”
• What they say: “I’d like to run that test again.”
• What they mean: “The lab lost your blood sample.”
• What they say: “Insurance should cover most of this.”
• What they mean: “You’ll have to sell your house to cover the rest.”
• What they say: “These pills have very few side effects.”
• What they mean: “You may experience sudden hair growth on your palms.”
• What they say: “Why don’t you go over your symptoms with me one more time.”
• What they mean: “I don’t remember who you are.”
• What they say: “There’s a lot of this going around.”
• What they mean: “And we’ll give it a name as soon as we figure out what it is.”
• Nobody likes being sick;
• And to make matters worse, sometimes people just don’t believe you.
• Quote: Did you hear about the inscription on the tombstone of a hypochondriac? It read,
• "Now will you believe that I’m sick?"
• Question: How are you feeling today?
• Answer: Fine. That’s great – I’m glad.
• Actually there is a much more important question we should ask:
• How is Christ feeling today?
• As he looks at us individually and his collective people, the Church.
• How does he feel? Is he pleased or is he sick of us!
• The word translated as ‘spit’ (N.I.V.) actually means to vomit.
• K.J.B. uses the word ‘spue’.
Quote: The Message:
“I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking. You’re not cold, you’re not hot – far better to be either cold or hot! You’re stale. You’re stagnant. You make me want to vomit.”
• Strong pictures words; but let’s not miss the point;
• Here is an instant where Christ felt ill to the bottom of his stomach.
• The shocking thing is this;
• It was a bunch of Christian’s not sinful heathens that made him feel this way!
I want to look at this letter under 4 headings:
(1) A Picture of Laodicea:
• Antiochus II founded the city in the middle of the 3rd Century BC;
• And named it after his wife Laodice.
Laodicea an important centre of trade and communication:
• This was because it was situated on the most important road in Asia.
• It was on the main trade route linking Ephesus and Syria.
• You entered the city by the Ephesian gate and left by the Syrian gate.
• So to travel this important trade route meant you had to go through Laodicea.
LAODICEA WAS ACTUALLY KNOWN FOR 3 THINGS:
(1). it was known firstly for its wealth.
• It was the financial and banking centre of the whole region;
• You could say it had money to burn.
• It was so wealthy that after it was destroyed in A.D. 17;
• By a great earthquake.
• Tithe people refused imperial help in rebuilding the city,
• Choosing rather to do it entirely by themselves.
• That would be like one of our cities;
• Refusing government aid after a natural disaster;
• And choosing to replace all the buildings and infrastructure itself.
• So it was a very rich city and had no need of any outside help.
(2). it was known secondly for its wool.
• Much of the cities wealth;
• Came from the production of its famous wool.
• A fine quality glossy black wool;
• Which would be exported throughout the known world.
(3). it was known thirdly for its school of medicine
• The school of medicine; produced a special ointment known as "Phrygian powder."
• This was famous for its ability to cure of eye defects
But for all its fame:
• Laodicea was also known for something else.
• Its horrible water supply.
• Despite its wealth,
• It did not have a local water supply sufficient to provide for its population.
• And so an aqueduct was built to bring water from hot springs 6 miles away.
• On its journey overland to Laodicea, it cooled until it was lukewarm when it arrived.
Quote: Ian Barcley:
“It was a standing joke in Laodicea that unsuspecting travellers approaching the city from the west would often try to drink from the outer pools in the area known as the Phrygian Gate.