Morning Musings: Revelation 3:15-16

“I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot.  Would that you were either cold or hot!  So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

This is more of a note of explanation than inspiration.  Many interpreters over the years have read this verse and come to the conclusion that Jesus’s point is that it is better to be either on fire for Him or else against Him than it is to be merely half-heartedly committed to Him.  This may preach well, but it is almost totally wrong.

The city of Laodicea was located a long way from a source of fresh water.  There were two different sources within the region.  One was a hot springs and one cold.  In order to get the water to the city, it had to be carried there via aqueduct.  This got water for the city, but by the time it arrived from either source, it was neither hot nor cold.

Hot water was useful.  You could wash with it.  You could bathe in it.  You could cook with it.  The same was true of cold water.  You could drink it, wash with it, cook with it.  Both hot and cold water were useful.  The water, however, arrived lukewarm.  Have you ever picked up a cup of water to drink and found it to be stale and at room temperature?  It’s gross.  It’s worthless.  It serves no useful purpose.  The only thing you want to do is spit it out.

That’s Jesus’s point here.  Hot and cold both symbolize usefulness and passion.  Either was good.  But, half-hearted commitment benefitted no one anything.  Jesus wants all of us, not some of us.  Splitting our attention between Him and something else does Him no good.  It doesn’t help us any either.  Give yourself to Jesus fully and without reserve.  He’s worth it.

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