Larry Kirkpatrick

A Positive Place on the Web for the Third Angel's Message

Jesus at the Door

In Revelation 3:20, Jesus says,

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me."

Likely, all of us recognize these words. The 20th verse of Revelation three is part of Jesus' appeal to His end-time church. Now, our focus today is not particularly on that or the other six messages to the churches. But we will look at Jesus appeal here.

First, Jesus comes to our door; we do not go to His. Remember, it is not the lost who find the unlost, but the unlost who finds the lost. Jesus comes to your doorstep. Clearly, Jesus is not the needy person, you are. Jesus comes to your door. There He is.

He respects the free will He gave us. He comes to us but He doesn't force His way in. He does, however, knock. This is a patent picture. He is present. He is waiting. He is even trying to communicate with you. He is respecting you. He will not force you to embrace Him.

This is not a God who once through the door, moves in and refuses ever to leave again. He will be the same patient Jesus inside with you that He is just outside your door. He will never leave you or forsake you, but He will respect your decisions and depart if asked, with as much patience and respect for you as when He first stood and knocked.

The next part of the verse locates how many are invited to eat with Christ: everyone who hears the voice of Jesus. That is, everyone who hears and responds favorably to it. If anyone hears His voice and opens the door. Hearing and opening go together. All it takes is our opening the door.

When we open the door, Jesus accepts the invitation to enter and comes in. He eats with us. He fellowships with us. What does it mean to eat with Jesus?

In Bible times, there were no soulless "fast food" restaurants; eating together with others was a common service. Hospitality was extended to the traveler, for all had been in similar situations. Food was not factory prepared. Cities and events where hospitality is not seen almost always turn into negative scenes in the Bible.

Eating with others is a mark of hospitality and of union. In Genesis 18, Abram gives food to the visiting angels. In 19 Lot echoes this. Covenants are sealed/confirmed in the Bible with a covenant meal. When passover is introduced, a special meal is actually included in the ritual.

Meals also can separate people. In Genesis we see that special rules had arisen that kept Egyptians from eating with Hebrews at the same table. In the New Testament it is clear that human traditions have risen that separate Jews from eating with Greeks. But Jesus brings all believers together.

To eat with Jesus means that we are in communion with Him. Jesus was often found eating with sinners, but the most famous meal is His last, where He ate passover with His 12 disciples. In that case, as in ours on this holy Sabbath, Jesus said, "Take, eat; this is my body which is broken for you." Notice that Jesus' body is broken for them and it is their decision or not whether they will accept the offer to eat. God does not force people to be changed or to be saved. He does not force people to change their characters. But if we would be in connection with Him, He calls us to receive His help to be changed.

Jesus comes to all people. He offers that they would come into union with Him. Today in this communion service He is here. Through His representative the Holy Spirit, Jesus is present to eat with us. We didn't come to Him; He comes to us.

"Every disciple is called upon to participate publicly, and thus bear witness that he accepts Christ as his personal Saviour. It is at these, His own appointments, that Christ meets His people, and energizes them by His presence. . . All who come with their faith fixed upon Him will be greatly blessed. All who neglect these seasons of divine privilege will suffer loss. . . . In partaking with His disciples of the bread and wine, Christ pledged Himself to them as their Redeemer. He committed to them the new covenant, by which all who receive Him become children of God, and joint heirs with Christ. By this covenant every blessing that heaven could bestow for this life and the life to come was theirs. This covenant deed was to be ratified with the blood of Christ. And the administration of the Sacrament was to keep before the disciples the infinite sacrifice made for each of them individually as a part of the great whole of fallen humanity" (The Desire of Ages, pp. 657, 659).

"'As we receive the bread and wine symbolizing Christ's broken body and spilled blood, we in imagination join in the scene of Communion in the upper chamber. We seem to be passing through the garden consecrated by the agony of Him who bore the sins of the world. We witness the struggle by which our reconciliation with God was obtained. Christ is set forth crucified among us" (Ibid., p. 661).

When gather for the Lord's Supper, is it intended to be a season of sorrowing?

"[T]he communion service was not to be a season of sorrowing. This was not its purpose. As the Lord's disciples gather about His table, they are not to remember and lament their shortcomings. They are not to dwell on their past religious experience, whether that experience has been elevating or depressing. They are not to recall the differences between them and their brethren. They preparatory service has embraced all this. The self-examination, the confession of sin, the reconciling of differences, has all been done. Now they come to meet with Christ. They are not to stand in the shadow of the cross, but in its saving light. They are to open the soul to the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. With hearts cleansed by Christ's most precious blood, in full consciousness of His presence, although unseen, they are to hear His words, "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, give I to you' (John 14:27)" (Ibid., p. 659).

And so, we think again on these words:

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me."

Jesus is at the door.


Deer Park WA SDA 2014-08-02?

Chewelah WA SDA 2014-08-23