Jump Start # 2789
Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me.”
I used this passage a while back in a sermon. There are several interesting things to consider.
First, all these hundreds of years later, we understand someone knocking on the door. That’s what they did back then and people still do it today. Even with doorbells, cameras on our porch to catch who is walking up to the door, the concept remains the same. There was a time not too long ago when evangelizing included “door knocking.” That’s not done much today, because many would never open the door to a stranger.
Second, Jesus wasn’t just knocking, He was speaking. The passage says, “Hears My voice.” So, it’s not a stranger at the door. The person at the door, is identifying Himself. It’s Jesus and He wants to come in. The voice of Jesus is spoken through the N.T. The door Jesus is knocking on is your heart. You’ve read about Jesus in the Bible. For some, that’s enough. Check off your daily Bible reading and go on your way. Listen to a sermon, follow along with a few passages, then head to lunch. And, with that, you and I can keep Jesus on the outside. He remains on the porch. We heard Him knocking. We’ve listened to His voice. However, the door has remained closed.
Third, the opening of the door is not done by God, but by us. Jesus doesn’t “break into” your home. He doesn’t force His way into your life. He knocks, and you welcome Him in. He knocks and you invite Him in. He’ll stand on the porch all day long. He won’t come to the back door. He won’t go through a window. You don’t have to fear Jesus breaking in like a criminal. He’s not like that. He wants to come in, but you must open that door. You must invite Jesus in. You must want Jesus to come in.
Fourth, when Jesus comes in, it is to dine with us. He’s not coming to take stuff out. He’s not coming to beat you, hurt you or rob you. In the first century, the most intimate fellowship was around food. When the prodigal came home, the celebration included eating the fat calf. In the home of Mary and Martha, while Jesus was teaching, Martha was preparing the food. The last events Jesus had with the apostles before the cross was eating the Passover meal and transitioning to the Lord’s Supper.
Even today, friends gather and we eat. The family comes and we eat. Jesus didn’t come in to watch TV. He didn’t come in to help you paint a wall. He came in to dine with you. He didn’t just come in to eat, but to eat with you. It’s the “with you” that makes all the difference.
Now, stretch that thought for a moment. Let your mind go there. Imagine just you and Jesus sitting across a table. There’s bread, grapes, some meat, and a cup with something to drink. It’s not the food, it’s the company that matters. It’s not so much to fill the belly, as it is to fill the heart. This is not fast food, this is time spent with the Savior.
What do you think you and Jesus would talk about? Would that setting make you uncomfortable and nervous? Would you want the Lord to leave quickly? I doubt the conversation would be about ballgames and how your team is doing. I doubt the Lord would be concerned about politics, policy and things like that. I doubt the Lord would have much interest in your paintings on the wall, your furniture, of how much balance you have on your mortgage. I doubt the Lord would ask you about your company’s matching 401 program. Interestingly, how quickly after worship ends, our conversations turn to these things. It sure makes one wonder doesn’t it?
Here is my short list of how I imagine a conversation with the Lord would go. These are just my thoughts:
- I could see the Lord asking us how we’ve done with the pandemic. At first, we’d tell the Lord about how hard it’s been to worship at home, and how stressful it’s been having the kids do school at home. I’d probably complain about masks and how many times I’ve forgotten one and had to go back to get one. But the Lord, would smile, shake His head, and ask, “But how are you doing?” “Has this made you thankful for what you had?” “Has this opened your eyes to help others?” “Has this shown you how wonderful worship is?” Likely, thoughts I haven’t had before. It’s so easy to focus upon self and the storm clouds and fail to see the sunrays of blessings coming down.
- The Lord might see a picture of our family, framed, sitting on a table. He’d ask about your marriage. Has the pandemic given you more time to pray together? Being around each other, have you helped each other more?
- The Lord might look out the window and see the melting snow and smile and say, “Wasn’t that beautiful when it was coming down? It’s like the Father’s blessings every day.”
- I expect the Lord would look into our eyes and tell us that He thinks about us every day. I can see the Lord saying, “I know you’ll get through all of this. You are so strong and I love you so much.” As, He left, He’d embrace us and hold our hands like no one has ever done before. He’d look again deep into our eyes and remind us, “I’m coming back for you.” And, then smile and then leave.
The concept of dinning with the Lord was not to bring guilt, fear or shame. It was meant to bring warmth, love and closeness. This was a good thing not something to be dreaded.
I stand at the door and knock. Will you let the Lord in?