A Different Way of Thinking About Jesus

Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me.

Revelations [3:20]

Today’s verse is one of my personal favorites and reveals how I feel Jesus approaches us. In this verse we see two things, first is the active action by Jesus of trying to connect with us, by knocking on our door. The second is a very clear statement about Jesus’s desire to form a mutual relationship with us, by wanting to dine with us. While they are insistent, neither of these statements are aggressive or demanding statements, but a compelling request by Jesus for us to get to know Him more closely.

When you read Bible commentaries about this verse, you will discover it is in the last of the seven letters to various churches contained in Revelations. These letters were requested by Jesus, to be written by John, the author of Revelations. Each letter contains a specific message for each church.

The seventh letter is written to the church in Laodicea. Laodicea was a wealthy town in the country now known as Turkey. Today, it is a place of ancient ruins, but in the first century was an early wealthy Christian enclave. The letter was specifically written to address the lukewarm attitude of their faith. It seems they were never fully committed to Jesus, and were still attached to and relied on their wealth. They were both in and out with their faith.

This lukewarm attitude is one of the reasons, I have always loved this verse. In many ways, it represents my personal struggle in my relationship with Jesus. A sometimes to lukewarm attitude with my own faith. At times I rely on my own possessions and human abilities, instead of using the lessons of Jesus.  At times I catch myself not thinking about the lessons of Jesus in my behavior. And in retrospect, I see my actions were not Christ-like.

And Jesus still knocks on my door. Desiring to bring me closer to having a heart filled with His lessons. A daily struggle to continue answering the knock.

This verse is an appeal to answer Jesus’s knocking on the door. A knocking at the door and invitation to eat with Jesus. All that one has to do is hear Jesus’s voice and then open the door.

Now I can imagine if this happened in the 21st century, just about everyone I know would answer the door and have dinner with Jesus, and not just my Christian friends. Who wouldn’t? Jesus has a wonderful reputation. He healed a lot of people. He walked on water. So why wouldn’t we answer his knocking at the door?

But here is the catch, Jesus doesn’t want to just have a dinner companion. Jesus wants to be part of our lives. Not just as a novelty, so that we can tell our friends that we had dinner Jesus. And who wouldn’t want to go to a party and say to everyone, guess who I had dinner with?

Jesus isn’t interested in being a novelty or part of a cocktail conversation. Jesus specifically wants us to know him. He doesn’t want to force himself on us, but to become connected with us fully. He is not demanding this dinner, but compelling us to dine with him.

Certainly, Jesus knows that a command and control management style doesn’t work. And certainly, if you want to turn people off, saying things like, believe in me or else, will accomplish that task.

No, this is a very different message of how Jesus approaches us than what we sometimes hear in modern society. And that’s the point about this message. Our relationship with Jesus is just that; our relationship. It is not someone else’s relationship, but ours. And Jesus doesn’t want a tepid relationship; Jesus wants us all in; all the time.

Now this knock is an insistent knock, and the original Greek word, kpouw doesn’t easily translate to English, but actually means a rap, as if with a knuckle. Perhaps, even a heavy blow.

And the door Jesus is knocking on is unlikely our door at home. This figure of speech refers to our heart. The inner sanctum of our being. This is where Jesus wants to get to. And make no mistake about it, Jesus wants in.

Our challenge is to be ready to dine with Jesus. To move away from our distractions, possessions and listen intently. And at the same time converse, by expressing our fears, joys, and desires. Not a one-way conversation, but an intensely mutual exchange.

Sure, Jesus is our Lord; the king of kings. But Jesus isn’t a command and control ruler. Jesus is a relational ruler, that desires the best for us. Jesus knows even more about us than we know about ourselves. Jesus just wants in. And Jesus is knocking, and the knocking is insistent. There is a polite urgency to Jesus’s knock.

I say, answer the knock. It is one of those moments in life when we really receive a great gift and all we have to do is not be lukewarm and make time for Jesus.

Listen to the Full Podcast – A Different Way of Thinking About Jesus

Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman

Photo by Claudio Testa on Unsplash