How could you possibly be naked and not know it? Surely the room would seem a little drafty. Or maybe the upholstery would feel a little rougher than usual. Or you’d notice everybody staring. Or gagging.
Strange as it may seem, it is possible to be naked and not know it.
Jesus said to some lukewarm believers in Laodicea, “You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.” (Revelation 3:17)
Obviously, Jesus isn’t talking about physical nakedness; he’s talking about something much worse: spiritual nakedness.
What is spiritual nakedness? In the context of this passage, it seems to be a false sense of well-being. The Laodicean believers started out acknowledging their need for a Savior, but over time were lulled into complacency by their wealth. They assumed that because they didn’t have any physical needs, they must not have any spiritual needs either.
A false sense of well-being. The words bring to mind an experience Marilyn and I will ever forget.
Years ago we went to a concert at EPCOT Center at Disney World. The singer (who shall remain nameless) was a well-known star, someone with several gold records. We got to the American Gardens Theater early and sat on the second row. To our surprise, the singer came out and did a quick sound check. We and the other early-arriving guests were horrified to see that she had a big rip up the back of her pants that revealed more than anyone but her husband or her doctor should ever be allowed to see.
Talk about a false sense of well-being! She strolled around the stage, sang a few lines, got her monitors all adjusted, smiled and waved at the audience, and left. I wondered if she thought the titters in the audience were the result of her fans being awed by her mere presence. If so, she was mistaken.
Perhaps this would be a good time for all of us to check the seams in our trousers. Spiritually speaking, do we have a false sense of well-being? Have we made assumptions about ourselves that aren’t true? Are we walking around smiling and waving while God sees something terribly wrong in our lives?
Jesus closed his remarks to the Laodiceans by saying, “I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.” (Revelation 3:19)
In other words, wake up and put some clothes on or else I’ll step in and wake you up myself. That’s a pertinent challenge for people like us who live in a place not so unlike Laodicea.