As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.
The severity of the tone with which our Lord addresses the Laodiceans can give the mistaken impression that He loathes them. Yet the gravity of Jesus’ censure reflects the weight of His love. The Lord’s disapproval of our errant ways is not a sign of resentment. To rebuke is not to reject. Loving criticism is better than dishonest applause (see Pro 27:6). The sense of discipline here is not one of punishment but of training (paideia). Instead of perpetual guilt and condemnation, His goal is to motivate us to repent. Now, the word translated “be zealous” (zēleue) here means boiling, as opposed to warm. Beloved, God has no interest in our mild, moderate and hesitant repentance. Only a red-hot, boiling over and radical passion for spiritual growth and transformation will do!