Revelation  3:14-22   (CLICK HERE FOR BIBLE VERSES)

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Revelation 3:14-22.  As usual, I encourage you to read the passage yourself first and see what you can glean with the Holy Spirit’s help, then read the GAME sharing below.  Let’s go!

Revelation 3:14 (NIV) 
14  “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation.

On verse 14:  In His message to the church in Laodicea, we learn 3 things about Jesus:

–  Jesus is the “Amen”.  What does Jesus mean when He calls Himself “the Amen”?  “Amen” carries the meaning of agreement, affirmation and certainty.  When Jesus calls Himself the “Amen”, it means that everything that Jesus is and everything that Jesus does affirms and agrees with who God is.  Jesus is the One who gives us certainty about who God is and what He is like.  If you want to know who God is and what He is like, look at Jesus.

–  Jesus is the faithful and true witness, which we discussed when looking at Revelation 1:5.

–  Jesus is the ruler of God’s creation.

As we will see, the church in Laodicea had a tendency to compromise their faith and cast doubt upon God’s Word.  It’s no wonder Jesus comes to them as the “Amen”, as a faithful and true witness, and as a strong authority.

Revelation 3:15-16 (NIV) 
15  I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!
16  So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 

On verses 15-16:  For reasons we will learn in verse 17, the church in Laodicea had grown dispassionate and lukewarm in their devotion to God.  This repulsed Jesus, so much so that He compares the church in Laodicea to something lukewarm that He wants to spit out of His mouth.

What can we learn from this?  Jesus cares about the condition of your faith, how passionately you love God and love people.  Jesus didn’t suffer and die on the cross so that we could be lukewarm followers of His.  He made us to be alive, expectant, involved, out loud and united for Him.

Revelation 3:17 (NIV) 
17  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.

On verse 17:  Laodicea was a wealthy city.  Apparently many Christians in Laodicea were placing their identity and hope in wealth, and thus had grown lukewarm, disinterested and dispassionate in their faith.  Jesus tells them that, contrary to what they thought, they were not rich and self-sufficient, but “wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked”.

What can we learn from this?  The love of money and material possessions will cause your heart toward God to grow lukewarm.  Make money, but don’t love money.  Instead of loving money, use it for God’s purposes.  Instead of chasing after material possessions, chase after what matters most and what lasts.

Revelation 3:18 (NIV) 
18  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.

On verse 18:  Out of love for the Christians in Laodicea, Jesus rebukes them, telling them to repent and to return to Him.  He counsels them to buy three things from Him:

·  “gold refined in the fire” symbolizing faith, which is “of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire” (see 1 Peter 1:7).  For it is faith in Jesus that makes us truly rich;

·  “white clothes” symbolizing Jesus’ righteousness.  For it is only Jesus’ righteousness that can cover our sin and shame;

·  “salve to put on your eyes” symbolizing spiritual sight.  According to historians, Laodicea was the leading centre for optometry in the Greco-Roman world and featured a medical school in Laodicea that promoted a salve to heal people’s eye troubles.  Jesus uses this local image to illustrate how He was the salve the Laodicean Christians needed to restore their spiritual vision.

Of course, these three things cannot be bought with money.  Rather the kind of buying Jesus is referring to in verse 18 is more costly: it required that the Laodicean Christians humble themselves before Jesus and receive faith, righteousness and spiritual vision as a gift of His grace.

What can we learn from this?  Jesus desires that we have faith, righteousness and spiritual vision.  We cannot buy these with money, but must humble ourselves to receive them from God.

Revelation 3:19 (NIV) 
19  Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.

On verse 19:  This is a great truth from Jesus Himself: the reason Jesus rebukes and disciplines us is not because He is cruel, mean or uncaring, but because He loves us.

Revelation 3:20 (NIV) 
20  Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

On verse 20:  When it comes to having a relationship with God, it’s not so much us reaching for God.  Rather, it is God who proactively comes to our door and knocks.  All we have to do is open the door to receive Him.

Revelation 3:21-22 (NIV) 
21  To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.
22  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

On verses 21-22:  In the Gospel of John, Jesus often talks about how He treats us the way the Father treats Him.  We see that here again.  Jesus says to those who overcome (i.e. those who hang on to their faith in Jesus Christ), “I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.” (v21)

Jesus, the ruler of creation (v14), doesn’t just forgive our sins.  Even more, He lets us sit with Him on His throne and rule with Him (v21).  It amazes me what Jesus is willing to share with sinners like us.  It’s only because through Jesus Christ, we have gone from being seen by God as sinners to righteous saints and beloved children of God.  To reign with His Son Jesus is what God had always intended for us.

Jesus, Ruler of Creation, thank You for sharing Your glory, Your faith, Your righteousness and Your vision with us.  Thank You for disciplining us because You love us.  Thank you for being the Amen who affirms for us who God is and what God is like.  In Jesus’ name, AMEN!

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