Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Revelation 3:14-21 focuses attention on what Jesus Christ has to say to "the angel of the church of the Laodiceans." He is obviously trying His best to get that "angel's" attention. According to this message in Revelation, His problem seems the most difficult He has had in our 6000 years of human history. Unless He can find a way to solve the problem of the angel being "lukewarm," how can He not emerge eternally embarrassed for His ultimate failure?
Note that the message is not addressed to the church itself; no, the addressee is "the angel," the leadership of the church (cf. 1:20). The two are not the same.
His "I will spew you out of My mouth" means literally (in the Greek), "You make Me so sick at My stomach that I feel like throwing up." His pain of acute nausea is intense! He is loyal and He is kind, but that's how the Son of God says He feels about the leadership of His church. But who is He speaking to? Who is "the angel of the church?"
"Leadership" equals all levels from bishops down to local elders and kindergarten teachers. What makes Christ feel nauseous is the heart assumption of being "rich" in our "relationship" with Him, our loyalty to Him, when in fact of all these 6000 years we are the most pathetic spectacle strutting on the stage of the world and of the universe (vs. 17).
In a last-ditch appeal, He begs us to sit in the kindergarten and learn what "faith" is--the "gold refined in the fire." What has blinded us is the vain assumption of an historical "enrichment" that is simply untrue (the literal Greek says, "you say ... I have been enriched, when you are unconscious of your utter spiritual poverty," vs. 17).
This strange Laodicean message is illuminated all through the Bible. For example, in his chapter 12:6 to 13:1, Zechariah saw in vision the final process of healing: "the house of David" (leadership, obviously) will lead the way to the cross where our corporate part in the crucifixion of Christ will become painfully apparent (vs. 10). Then comes hope!
The result: an unprecedented heart-cleansing for both leadership and people (13:1).
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: December 13, 2002.
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