Tradition Studio: Fine Art by Matt Philleo

Gallery » lukewarm


24" x 30"
Acrylic on Panel

I was getting ready to wash dishes one day, when the word: "lukewarm," for some reason, popped into my head. "Lukewarm... lukewarm," I wondered to myself, "why lukewarm?" I said a quick prayer to God asking Him why He put that word in my head, as I opened up the Bible, where I knew that word had special meaning.

In Revelation Chapter 3, I started reading, where I knew the word "lukewarm" appeared. As I read verses 14 on, an idea immediately came to me from God, and I grabbed a sketch book and started drawing it out as I read. This is what I read:

14 "And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans[a] write,
'These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot,[b] I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'–and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked– 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

In my painting, you see a wealthy man, admiring himself in a mirror. As he looks over his shoulder to brush a fleck of dust off his sport coat, he doesn't even see his reflection–his true self. Naked, withered, hunched over and disfigured by sin, the wretch looking back at his puffed up, oblivious self is clutching an apple symbolizing the original sin that taints us all, beckoning the man to see what he really is.

Meanwhile, at the door, stands a Man–Jesus–who is fervently knocking, pleading with the rich man to repent and get right with Him. In the Savior's hands are new linen clothing, (His righteousness) and a ring (the Holy Spirit and His promise of salvation)

If you look towards the left-hand side, you will see a lamp with a wick, barely smoldering. The Bible says about Jesus in the book of Isaiah: "A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick, He will not snuff out. This means that if there's any thing in us alive to God, any part of us deep down that has an interest in Him--or cries out to Him--He will not destroy us, but draw us closer and closer to Himself, until we come to saving faith through Jesus Christ.