Jesus Is Knocking: A Look At Revelation 3:20

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“Jesus is standing and knocking on the door of your heart…just waiting for you to let Him in.”

How many times have we heard that preached from our pulpits? Even in my short career in the church, I’ve heard it enough times to be able to almost predict when it’s about to come out of a preacher’s mouth. It sounds like a good deal: Jesus wants to save you and He will stand there knocking until you open up the door to let Him in.

This saying comes from Jesus’ address to the church in Laodicea in the book of Revelation. Jesus has just told the Laodiceans that He wishes that they were either cold or hot, but not the lukewarm swill that was pouring out of them. Jesus then says this to the Laodiceans:

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20)

So why am I bringing this up? Well, I’m wondering why Jesus is knocking in the first place. I mean, this is the Son of God…surely He can kick the door in if He wants to, right? Does He need a place to stay? The Bible says that we are the dwelling place of God, right? Does He need another cup of cold water? What’s with all of the knocking?

I don’t believe that we can read this verse accurately unless we do a little Bible study and check a cross-reference. Is there anywhere else that the Bible mentions someone knocking? Have we seen this before? As a matter of fact, we have. Take a look at the 12th chapter of Luke’s gospel:

“Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them. If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants! But know this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Luke 12:35-40) emphasis added

Did you see that? What did the master do when he came home? He knocked. That’s kinda weird. I mean, it’s his house after all. So why is he standing there knocking? When I come home, I put my key in the lock, unlock the door, and then walk in. I don’t knock and wait for anyone to open it. So why was this guy knocking on his own door?

The master is knocking because his servants are supposed to be waiting for him. When he knocks on the door, the servants are supposed to open it. That’s what’s expected of them. And if they do what’s expected of them, they enter into the joy of their master. If they’re not sleeping when he comes home, the master will not only commend them but will also serve them dinner. Huh?

Jesus’ words to the Laodiceans aren’t the words of a homeless man looking for a hand out or a place to say. They are the words of the Master coming home and expecting His servants to be waiting for Him. And if they serve Him properly, He will invite them to sit at His table and dine with them. In the world’s economy, the master never dines with the servants. But in God’s economy, the Master will not only sit and dine with His servants…but He will serve them. Astonishing! In our experience, when does the servant get to sit at the master’s table? Never! The servant serves the master. That’s what so mind-blowing about what Jesus says here…although our duties and our jobs are to serve Him, HE will serve us…as long as we open the door when He knocks. As long as we are ready.

However, take note: the Master won’t stand knocking forever. Eventually, He will brandish His keys (see Revelation 3:7-8) and open the door…and will then proceed to rebuke and chasten the disobedient servant. And those who aren’t His servants are not inside the house. They can’t open the door because they’re not inside His kingdom. This isn’t the Master pleading with strangers to come inside…He’s warning those who are already inside to do what’s expected of them. Otherwise rebuke, chastisement, and discipline await. After all, this letter was written to the Laodicean church, not the Laodicean government. This isn’t for outsiders…it’s for us. Christ’s church.

Jesus is our King. He is our Lord. He deserves glory and honor and respect. He deserves for His servants to be ready for Him when He returns. So ask yourself…am I ready to open the door when Jesus knocks? Am I ready for my Master to return? Or will I be asleep when He comes? Will I be like one of the virgins that didn’t bring extra oil? (Matthew 25:1-13) For all of our sakes, let all of our answers ever be “Yes, Master, I am ready.”

Be blessed…