The cold weather they are forecasting for this weekend got me thinking. There is an very popular and equally misunderstood passage in Revelation 3 where Jesus tells the Laodiceans that he wishes they were either hot or cold, but because they were luke warm he was going to vomit them out. The popular understanding is that hot is good, cold is bad. That is a very modern interpretation of the meaning and is very wrong. The concepts of being hot or cold spiritually aren’t the point and, in fact, are contrary to other parts of scripture. Jesus doesn’t say hot is good, cold is bad, luke warm is really bad. The only bad is luke warm. Hot and cold are extremes. His point is that they weren’t extreme for the Lord, they were luke warm.
As I was pondering this I came across an article that talked about how President Bush recently said that he doesn’t take the Bible literally. It seems the immediate context had to do with creationism and the interpretation of Genesis. Nevertheless the statement raises all kinds of questions in all kinds of arenas. What if he had said that in either of his previous campaigns? Would he have had the backing of the evangelical community? What else in the Bible does he not take literally, and what is his basis for doing so? Is salvation up for grabs? The nature of Jesus? The resurrection of Jesus and those who follow Him?
The solution to all that ailed Laodicea was [youversion]Revelation 3:18-19[/youversion]. Understand that all of the imagery Jesus uses in writing to these churches would have made sense to them because it was relevant to their culture. For the purpose of this writing it’s enough to understand that they needed a shift from self-dependence to Jesus-dependence. Instead of deciding for ourselves what is right and wrong, how we will interpret various passages in the Bible that make us uncomfy, we need to go to Him. When we rely on ourselves we become luke warm. When we rely on Him we become extreme. The world doesn’t like extreme unless it’s extreme for the world. But that is what it means to be luke warm from Jesus’ perspective.
Be hot and cold. Doctors tell us to put both on various injuries. A hot cup of tea can be a great thing. So can an iced tea. Be extreme for Him. Be extremely His.