About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Words From Jesus
In Revelation 3:19 Jesus
says that He loves the people in the church at Laodicea. Yet in Revelation 3:16
Jesus tells these very same people that because they are lukewarm
towards Him, He is about to spit them out of His mouth. The
world asks us why and how can a loving Jesus do such a thing?
That may be the world's question, but it's not mine.
My question is, "do Christians have the Biblical answer to
the world's question?" Many
of us don't have the answer, and with the post-modern influence in
today's church, such questions are often ignored or treated as
What was so wrong with
these people that Jesus was that upset about?
They weren't wicked, committing all sorts of outrageous sins.
They were simply materialistic.
They got side-tracked by their wealth.
In their words they were "rich, wealthy, and in need of
nothing." In the words
of Jesus they "were wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, naked,"
and needed to come to Him in repentance. Clearly, Jesus and the
Laodiceans weren't on the same page.
I know of some parents
who love their teenage children, but for one reason or another had to
ask a rebellious teenager to leave the family home.
We call this "tough love."
Such actions taken by the parents aren't taken lightly. Parents
remember the child's birth, the first step, the first word, and all the
other firsts that the child can't remember.
When the rebellious teenager leaves the home, he or she leaves in
anger. After they are out the door, the parents sit and weep bitterly
over the situation, something the teenager probably never sees and
doesn't care to see.
This is all a matter of
justice from the parents perspective.
Certain standards must be lived up to in order to keep the family
peace. When these standards
are continually challenged and ignored, sometimes drastic measures need
to be taken. At this point
love is demonstrated through justice which requires actions that don't
always appear to be loving on the surface.
For the most part, the
world understands such actions when
it comes to family and society. My
question to the world is, "why can't you expect the same kind of justice
from God that you expect from society?"
People tend to see God as so loving that He tolerates any and all
things, but does He?
The simple fact is that
God is just. His sense of
justice balances out His love. At
times love is demonstrated in acts of justice, and justice demands
actions that may seem harsh. This
is why Jesus was ready to spit those in the church at Laodicea
out of His mouth, even though He loved them dearly.
The words of Jesus found
in Revelation 3:14 to 22 are
important for today's world and today's church.
They answer the question, "why does a loving God do certain
things that don't appear loving?"
His words also show us how Jesus feels when His people get
side-tracked by their wealth and all the cares that go along with
Jesus deals with the
church as a loving parent would deal with his teenager.
If He called the Laodicean Christians to repent for their
preoccupation with material wealth, He will call us to the same
repentance. We're not all
that different from the Laodiceans in many respects.
And, if we fail to repent, Jesus will do to us what He said He'd
do to the Laodiceans.
I'm sure of that.
I believe the words
spoken to the church at Laodicea
are relevant for us today. If
we ignore the warning of Jesus seen in this passage of Scripture, we can
be assured that He won't ignore His warning.