by Kristen C. Strocchia
“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 gold 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.” Revelation 3:17-18
In the Laodicean culture of affluence, Jesus tells them that they were spiritually impoverished. There spiritual treasures were full of impurities. Impurities that left them blind to the truth of their eternal situation. Impurities that had stripped them of their eternal robes of righteousness and left them like pitiful, wretched beggars on a street corner.
It is so easy to look at life through earthly perspective, focusing on our physical and material needs. So often we pray from this vantage point, asking Jesus to provide for our earthly have-nots, when what He really wants to meet for us are our spiritual and heavenly needs.
But it is not sinful-natural for human beings to reverse their perspective and look at life through heaven’s eyes, focusing on heavenly rewards. Rewards like eternal life, victor’s crowns for bold and persevering faith, the tree and river of life, 24/7 [which won’t make sense in heavenly lingo] worship around the throne, fellowship with faithful saints, righteousness and justice, no more tears, sickness or death.
Yet it is this eternal perspective that Jesus counsels the Laodiceans to buy from Him. His gold refined in the fire–His truth found in His word. In hearing and doing and loving they will find true wealth–spiritual wealth; be adorned in truly rich clothing–His righteousness to cover their shameful sin; and have their spiritual eyes healed to see what is true, what is real, what is God.
It reminds me of the indulgences sold by the Catholic church in the Dark Ages. Perhaps Laodicean Christian descendants gave rise to such a practice of selling salvation–not that salvation can be had for any monetary amount. Real salvation is the FREE gift of God to those who believe in the sacrifice of His One and Only Son, Jesus.
What value do you place on your spiritual health? Do you love Jesus more than what this world offers? Do you hear and do and love His word?