The John Wesley Fellowship began in 1977, with Steve Harper and yours truly being two of the first John Wesley Fellows chosen. I have told the story of Ed Robb and AFTE this past Fall on the blog so I will not repeat it. Here are some of the senior fellows attending the meeting. […]
Laodicea of course is a city familiar to all bibliophiles, since it famously is the city referred to in Rev. 3 for its wealthy citizens of diffident faith. It also has connections with the Pauline churches mentioned in Colossians. But we would not necessarily guess from these passing references how truly remarkable and large this city was.
Turkish archaeologists have been working very hard indeed on this site over the last several years and the results are remarkable. There is brand new signposting at the site which gives one a good overview of how vast Laodicea was as a city, and how much there is to uncover here.
You will also note in this picture the snow-capped peaks hovering over the Lycus valley even in late May. Turkey is a country of beautiful mountains and fertile valleys, and Laodicea was famous as the city in the valley with industry and even a medical college of sorts. The archaeologists have found huge remains of the storage jars used in homes for grain and the like. For example, see below. This was a city full of people who had considerable purchasing power.
There is much more to be said, but let this be said at this juncture. The archaeological evidence at Laodicea simply confirms what the NT suggests about the city– it was large, rich in the first century, a city materially on the rise, but sometimes prosperity has a deadening effect on spirituality as John of Patmos reminds. The reconstruction of the city today is a work still in progress— but then, so are we. If even Laodicea warrants a visit from the Master who knocks and promises to enter and sup with them, despite all its sin and shortcomings, then there is still hope for us.