“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. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 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 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. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 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 that person, and they with me. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (NIV)
John, the writer of Revelation, is commanded to write to the church at Laodicea (in modern Turkey). Jesus, speaking through John, says that this church is lukewarm. The city of Laodicea had neither hot springs bringing medicinal benefit, or cold water which could be cleansing. It’s lack of good water supply was mirrored in its lack of spiritual life. The Laodiceans thought they were self sufficient and well resourced. Jesus looks beneath the surface and notes their spiritual poverty. Never mistake being well resourced and affluent as being a necessary sign of spiritual health in individuals or churches. In fact, the more resources we have the less we may be likely to trust utterly in Jesus.
The remedy for this spiritual indifference camouflaged by outward prosperity is to invite Jesus in for some deep and meaningful interaction. The image of Jesus standing at the door and knocking is a familiar one. Here it is a challenge for spiritually lukewarm individuals to recharge their batteries by doing serious business with Jesus. The image of his eating with us suggests very significant contact, not just idle chatter or superficial moments spent with him.
But beware! Inviting Jesus in to do some spring cleaning will only help if we allow him access to every room in our lives. We might fancy that one part of our lives needs a bit of remodeling. When we open the door to Jesus, we might find he has in mind wholesale renovation. Then again, overcoming lukewarmness and spiritual indifference and proud self sufficiency will cost us something. In this case, ultimate control over our lives. That person knocking at the door has bigger and better plans for us than we can ever imagine.