The city of Laodicea was rich, and so were the people of its church. The area thrived on three enterprises: finance, textiles, and eye salve. The city was a major banking center, and the most popular clothes among Rome’s upper class were black wool garments made in Laodicea. Pharmaceuticals were doing well because the eye salve made in the city was sold far and wide. The people of this rich church bragged that they had “need of nothing” (Revelation 3:17).

How wrong they were! Jesus accused them of being spiritually “lukewarm.” He was ready to vomit them out (vv.15-16). Using illustrations He knew they would understand, He said they needed to buy from Him “gold refined in the fire”—the riches of heaven. They should obtain robes washed white in the blood of the Lamb. They needed to anoint their eyes with eye salve (allowing the Holy Spirit to give them spiritual sight), so they could accept and understand the truth of God (v.18).

Are you spiritually poor? Do your physical goods and assets far outweigh your spiritual wealth? Christ stood at the door of the Laodicean church and kept knocking, waiting for them to recognize their need of Him (v.20). Is He waiting for you as well?  —DCE