“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Rev.3:20
These words have been preached countless times as a Gospel message, and many have been saved as a result. Of that there is no doubt. However, a closer look at the Lord’s words and their context brings out another message.
First of all it is abundantly clear that our Lord was addressing people already in the Church. He was not addressing the unsaved world. All seven messages in Revelation were spoken by our Lord to Churches, and must be considered within that context. In the second place, His message was not a call to repentance, appropriate to evangelistic preaching, but an invitation to have pleasant personal fellowship over a meal.
Holman Hunt’s famous picture, The Light of the World (1853) shows a door with no handle, strewn about with an abundance of weeds, all of which suggest a seldom-used entrance. The Lord guided him to paint this picture.
The house symbolises one of the Lord’s children. The context implies that not every child of God allows this closeness of personal fellowship with their Lord. Furthermore, the Lord is not depicted as One who would force Himself on His children, but comes as One who would delight to enter, and have a fellowship meal. This aspect of our Lord’s character is sometimes missed.
And then we are told that there is a two way fellowship. “I will dine with him and he with Me.” Do we have a wholesome spread to share with our Lord? If so, He promises to provide a feast table of His own for us to share with Him. How do we understand this? I shall adopt Nehemiah’s method, who not only read the word, but “gave the sense, and helped them to understand the reading.”(Neh.8:8)
Can I truthfully say that I have many things I’d like to share with the Lord? Do I yearn to sense His presence closely enough to talk to Him about my learning, my experiences, my hopes, and my fears? Have I realised just how much the Lord wants to hear, and would love to listen? If so, then He will be “sharing the meal I’ve prepared.”
Am I ready to listen to Him, rather than just praying and saying Amen? Have I realised how many good things He has in store to share with me if only I will be quiet and listen, and allow His divine mind to enter my mind and help me get to know Him personally? If so, then I shall be “enjoying His feast, seated at His table.”
“If any man hears My voice and opens the door.” Any man, not the whole Laodicean Church to which the Lord was addressing, but individuals within that Church. The Lord comes to each and everyone within the Church, but says that this desirable personal fellowship is something that requires us to turn the handle on the door, clear away the weeds, and welcome the Lord into our hearts. It is His invitation. He knocks. It requires an answer.