Revelation 3:17 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Revelation 3:17, NIV: "You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked."

Revelation 3:17, ESV: "For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked."

Revelation 3:17, KJV: "Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:"

Revelation 3:17, NASB: "Because you say, 'I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have no need of anything,' and you do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked,"

Revelation 3:17, NLT: "You say, 'I am rich. I have everything I want. I don't need a thing!' And you don't realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked."

Revelation 3:17, CSB: "For you say, 'I'm rich; I have become wealthy and need nothing,' and you don't realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked."

What does Revelation 3:17 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In this verse we find a big contrast between the church at Laodicea's view of itself and Jesus' view of them. The Laodicean church saw itself as rich and prosperous, but Jesus saw it as poor. Undoubtedly, some wealthy bankers were members of the church and contributed generously to its offerings, but the church was spiritually bankrupt. The church felt it needed nothing, but actually it needed what only Jesus could give it. As the saying goes, money cannot buy happiness. With all its wealth, the church was "wretched," meaning unhappy. Jesus also viewed the church as "pitiable," meaning miserable. It is possible to possess money and material possessions but feel miserable.

Paul instructed Timothy to warn His church members that money-hungry Christians "fall into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction" (1 Timothy 6:9). Jesus also recognized that the spiritually impoverished Laodicean church was also blind and naked. It did not see any need to trust in the Lord or to evangelize the lost. It had no vision. It was "naked," an ironic criticism, since the city exported abundant wool for clothing.