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I counsel you

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to buy from me

gold refined in the fire;

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and buy from me white garments so that you might be clothed and not demonstrate the shame of your nakedness;

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and buy from me eye salve to anoint your eyes and see.

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I invite you to join us (the triune Godhead) in a planning session where you can come to agreement with what we have already determined is best and then you can “own” that course of action as your own; the course of action referred to is this: that you acquire from me

true riches, that are not tainted, that have been tested and proven to be the real thing, also that you acquire from me a pure witness and reputation so you will no longer show everyone the shame of your shameful condition; and that you acquire from me healing of your capacity for correct insight so that you will perceive and understand properly.


1: “counsel”

The first part of the paraphrase for this verse is entirely from one word, which is usually translated “counsel.” The word emphasizes coming together to plan and agree upon some course of action. God is not just telling them what to do, nor is He making a simple suggestion. Rather He is inviting them to meet with Him and come away with a plan, one which God has predetermined because He is God.


The Laodiceans thought of themselves as rich and not needing anything, but the riches they had were not the real thing. Theirs would pass away, while the riches God offers will last forever. The phrase “gold refined in the fire” points toward purity, which they apparently also lacked.


“White” means “pure.” Clothing refers to how people see us, our witness. When it mentions no longer being ashamed of one’s nakedness, there is a layering here of the same idea used twice right in a row, for nakedness was another word for shame. We could say, “so you will no longer be ashamed of your shame.” They were a center for the textile industry, yet in a spiritual sense they did not know how to cover themselves.

4: “Anoint your eyes and see.”

This city made and exported eye salve. They could heal problems with physical sight, but spiritually they were blind. Jesus offers them true insight into the realities that really matter.